Special Reports

Special Report 27 - Defence Property


The purpose of the examination was to establish the nature, extent and operational costs associated with Defence Property and to consider current arrangements for the management of the property portfolio.

Special Report 26 - Use of Sheriffs and Solicitors in the Collection of Taxes


The purpose of the examination was to review the efficiency of the procedures for referral of outstanding taxes to Sheriffs and Solicitors and the efforts of these Agencies to recover the amounts due. The examination was concerned with value added tax (VAT), employers PAYE/PRSI liability (PREM) and the Assessing and Collection tax system (ASC).

Special Report 25 - Administration of Premium and Headage Grant Applications


The Department of Agriculture and Food (the Department) administers a range of annual grant schemes for farmers producing livestock (mainly cattle and sheep) and certain tillage crops. Most of the funding for the schemes is provided by the European Union (EU) which specifies the rates of payment and rules about eligibility and how the schemes are to be administered. By the end of June 1998, a total of £786 million had been paid out in respect of 543,000 applications made under the 1997 schemes. Grant payments now amount to almost half of the aggregate income from farming.

Special Report 24 - The Provision and Management of Industrial Property


The availability of industrial property is an important factor in attracting new business ventures to regional locations. In recent years, the private sector has been willing to take on this role in areas where there is a viable market for property and where there is a potential for economic gain. Three public sector Agencies are involved in the provision of industrial property for the purposes of achieving economic growth either nationally or in regional and peripheral areas. At the end of 1996, the Agencies were responsible for portfolios of industrial property with a book value of £274 million, comprising 2,200 hectares of land and 1.2 million square metres of factory space.

Special Report 23 - The Administration of Supplementary Welfare Allowance


The Supplementary Welfare Allowances (SWA) scheme was introduced in 1977 as a scheme of last resort to provide financial and other assistance on the basis of need with the objective of breaking the cycle of poverty in Ireland. The scheme is managed by the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs (the Department) but is delivered locally through Community Welfare Officers (CWOs) as pan of the community welfare service operated by the health boards. There were approximately 300,000 recipients who received payments of £152 million in 1996. The overall administration costs in 1996 were almost £17 million.

Special Report 22 - Consultancies in the Civil Service


This examination set out to gather information about consultancies undertaken by all government departments in the period 1994 to 1996.

Special Report 21 - Value Added Tax Collection and Control


The purpose of the examination was to review the current organisation of VAT collection and control procedures with particular reference to the results achieved from registration, collection, control and enforcement work over the past five years. The examination also sought to identify opportunities for further system refinements which would contribute to increasing the effectiveness of the procedures.

Special Report 20 - The Emergency Ambulance Services


This examination was undertaken to establish the extent to which the emergency ambulance services are provided efficiently and economically.

Special Report 19 - Prescribing Practices and the Development of General Practitioner Services


The examination focused on the steps being taken to promote more cost effective prescribing within the OMS scheme and to determine whether there is potential for further savings and the extent to which the required improvements identified in the 1994 Strategy document have been implemented.

Special Report 18 - Management of Inland Fisheries


The purpose of the value for money examination was to assess the adequacy of the management of inland fisheries.

Special Report 17 - The Development of the Integrated Short-term Schemes Computer System


The study set out to examine whether the project was properly planned and managed, the use of consultancy assistance, the costs incurred and the extent to which the projected benefits were realised, the efficiency with which the system was implemented.

Special Report 16 - Arterial Drainage of the Boyle and Bonet Rivers


An examination of the Boyle and Bonet schemes was carried out to establish the outturn on each of the schemes in terms of producing the specified outputs within time and budgetary targets, whether programmes of maintenance for the schemes have been developed and are being implemented, the adequacy of planning, specification and management of the schemes, the economic and efficient use of resources in carrying out the schemes and whether the effectiveness of the schemes has been adequately evaluated.

Special Report 15 - Administrative Budgets in the Irish Civil Service


This examination focused on the effect of the administrative budget system on civil service running costs in the period 1991 to 1996, the role of the Department of Finance in the process and the extent of devolved budgeting in line departments.

Special Report 14 - The Irish Genealogical Project


This examination focused on the extent to which the project has succeeded in creating the computer database and in putting in place a system for delivering a family history research service. It also examined the effectiveness of the management of the project.

Special Report 13 - Ordnance Survey


The study focused on the quality of service provided by the OS to its customers, the financial performance of the OS, the age profile of the map data, the impact of changes to the operating environment of the OS.

Special Report 12 - Procurement in Universities


The study focused on the adequacy of procurement arrangements within each university, areas where combined purchasing arrangements might be applied, whether university procurement policies are in line with best practice.

Special Report 11 - The National Museum at Collins Barracks


The examination of the Collins Barracks project sought to establish whether the project was properly appraised and planned, the project is being managed efficiently the first phase of, the project has been completed on time and within budget and the second phase is proceeding according to plan.

Special Report 10 - Planning of Second Level School Accommodation


This study focused on the adequacy of the Department of Education's systems for planning and managing the provision of second level school accommodation in the context of the projected long-term decline in enrolment levels and a continuing demand for building projects which far exceeds the available level of annual capital funding.

Special Report 09 - Gulliver - The Irish Tourism Information and Reservation System


Bord Fáilte (BFÉ) has been involved with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) since 1990 in a joint project to develop a computer-based tourist information and reservation system. The system - called Gulliver - has been developed within the two tourist board organisations by staff members and external consultants.

Special Report 08 - Means Testing


The examination identified 42 means tested schemes, twenty of which are administered by either the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) or the health boards. These twenty schemes account for the bulk of expenditure on all means tested schemes and the majority of means tests themselves.