Special Reports


Special Report 33 - The Driver Testing Service

This value for money examination was concerned with aspects of the economy and efficiency of the provision of the driver testing service.


Special Report 32 - Report on Impact of Value for Money Examinations 1994 - 1996

The effectiveness of value for money (VFM) examinations depends on the success of the accountability process which VFM reports serve and on the Impact which the reports have on improving the activities of the bodies examined. This report considers the impact of the first sixteen VFM reports produced between December 1994 and 1996.


Special Report 31 - Local Development Initiatives

This value for money report is concerned with the operation during the period 1994 - 1999 of local development initiatives provided through County Enterprise Boards (CEBs), Area-Based Partnership Companies (Partnerships) and LEADER groups. The value for money examination looked at specific issues relating to the administrative and operational efficiency of the three types of bodies, the arrangements for co-ordination between the bodies and approaches to evaluation of their impact.


Special Report 30 - Performance Measurement in Teagasc

This report examines the systems and procedures employed by Teagasc to evaluate its own effectiveness. Teagasc was formed to provide services for the agriculture and food sectors in three distinct services areas – research, advisory services and training. Teagasc 2000 is a comprehensive plan for the future delivery of services which was published in the middle of 1998. Management systems including those associated with the determination of effectiveness are being developed in light of proposals in Teagasc 2000.


Special Report 29 - Development of the National Roads Network

The National Roads Authority (NRA) was set up in 1994 to oversee the provision of a safe and efficient network of national roads. At the same time, a major roads investment programme also commenced, involving total expenditure of £1.2 billion (1994 prices) in the national roads network over the six year period from 1994 to 1999.


Special Report 28 - Year 2000 Compliance Projects

This examination considered how four Government Departments and two State Agencies have organised and managed Year 2000 compliance work. It also looked at how three Departments are monitoring the efforts of bodies under their aegis to achieve compliance.


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.