Minister Joe O’Brien publishes independent review of the Community Services Programme by Indecon Consultants
 
Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, at the Department of Rural and Community Development, today (Wednesday, 30 September) published the comprehensive independent review of the Community Services Programme by Indecon International Economic Consultants.
 
The Community Services Programme (CSP) transferred to the Department of Rural and Community Development in 2018. A review of the programme was considered opportune given the new Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: A Five-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary Sector in Ireland 2019-2024 and the National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022, and also that no formal review had been carried out since the programme was introduced in 2006.
 
Following a public procurement process the Department of Rural and Community Development appointed Indecon Consultants to conduct an independent review of the CSP.
 
The Minister commented:
 
“The Community Services Programme is a critical programme for the delivery of essential services to communities. It allows for the identification of local needs and the development of a bespoke response to those needs. I would like to thank Indecon Consultants for their work and also all the stakeholders that contributed to the review, in particular the CSP supported organisations and their employees.”
 
The review included a public consultation on its scope. Indecon also undertook extensive stakeholder engagement with CSP supported organisations, employees and national community and voluntary organisations.
 
The report sets out 11 key recommendations that the Department and Pobal, who administer the programme on its behalf, will use to assist with the re-structuring of the programme. A High Level Action Plan, prepared by the Department and Pobal accompanies the Indecon Report and sets out the proposed timeline for delivery of each phase.
 
The Minister added:
 
“I have reviewed the recommendations outlined in the report and look forward to ensuring that the programme is fit for purpose and continues to deliver vital services throughout the country. In the meantime, Pobal will engage with all CSP supported organisations with a view to re-contracting organisations until December 2021 while this important work is going on.”
 
He continued:
 
“The jobs created by the CSP are often for people from marginalised communities such as Travellers, ex-offenders and long term unemployed people and going forward the programme will have a more targeted focus in this regard.”
 
The Report and High Level Action Plan is published on gov.ie
 
In concluding, the Minister added
 
“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the work carried out by the staff and Boards of CSP supported organisations and seek their assistance and cooperation in the re-structuring of this programme. I am very confident that the outcome of this reform will mean a better programme for everyone.”
 
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