From the Neurological Alliance of Ireland - 23rd November 2015
National umbrella body for neurological charities extremely concerned at evidence of interference in SSNO funding scheme
The Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI), the national umbrella for neurological charities, is extremely concerned at news over the weekend that funding awarded under the SSNO scheme in 2014 was subject to Government interference. The RTE "this week" programme found evidence that Minister Phil Hogan overlooked independent advice and awarded funding to IASE (Irish Association of Supported Employment), despite the fact that their application was outranked by other applicants, who subsequently failed to be awarded funding under the scheme.
The news adds to the concerns of the umbrella body that the administration of the scheme in 2014 was flawed. Speaking today, Mags Rogers Development Manager NAI noted" This confirms the concerns raised by organisations of a lack of transparency in the grant awarding process.The scheme is to be readvertised in 2016 and we are calling for an immediate comprehensive review of the scheme and its administration to ensure that this does not happen again. Serious questions need to be asked as to how this interference was allowed to happen".
All twelve neurological organisations previously funded under the scheme were turned down for funding in 2014. The NAI has previously expressed serious concerns at the inconsistency and lack of transparency involved, including making decisions on the basis of criteria that were not clearly outlined in the application process.