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Dell Workers lose €9.2 million from European Globalisation Programme funding

12 January, 2012 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, can today reveal that €9.2million secured for redundant Dell workers in Limerick has been lost as a result of maladministration by the Department of Education. The new information was received from the Department in a parliamentary question asked by Deputy Doherty.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Workers made redundant by Dell in 2008 were due to receive retraining supports to the tune of €22.8 million following an application by the then government to the European Globalisation Fund. This money was to be used to assist these workers return to the workforce.

“However, I can reveal today that a massive €9.2million of this fund which had to be used by June 2011, was not spent. Two thirds of this will be returned to the European Commission under EGF rules.

“It is a scandal that 40% of a fund intended for workers made redundant in 2008 was unspent more three years after these workers lost their jobs. That a significant portion of this €9.2million will be returned to the European Commission is simply beyond comprehension.

“The reason for this scandal is clear. Mismanagement by the ministers responsible and maladministration by the department officials involved has resulted in unemployed workers being denied vital supports aimed at getting them back to work.

“While we do not know the amounts involved yet, a similar picture is likely to emerge with other programmes funded by the European Globalisation Fund. Thousands of workers in SR Tecnics, Waterford Crystal and the construction sector are likely to lose out as a result of mismanagement and maladministration.

“I am calling again for an independent inquiry into the management and administration of these European Globalisation Funded projects. This is the only way to determine why is responsible and, more importantly, to ensure that this kind of scandal never happens again.” ENDS

Note to editor: The full parliamentary question and reply is below:

Uimhir:175, 234

Ceist Pharlaiminte

Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will publish the European Globalisation Fund Final Report and Statement of Expenditure that was submitted to the European Commission on 28 December 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Pearse Doherty.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the amount of money returned to the European globalisation fund from the funds secured for Dell workers in Limerick as contained in his report to the European Commission of 28 December 2011 on the EGF Dell programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
-Pearse Doherty.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 11th January, 2012.
Reference Number: 1031/12, 41183/11


Minister of State, Ciarán Cannon

I propose to take questions 175 and 234 together.

My Department as the EGF Managing Authority in relation to the Dell EGF Programme, submitted the Final Report and accompanying statement of expenditure to the European Commission on 23 December 2011 as required in compliance with the EGF Regulations and the specific European Commission decision awarding a
financial contribution from the EGF to finance active labour market measures following the redundancies in Dell and its suppliers in Ireland. The total certified expenditure representing the contributions of the EGF and national funding included in the statement was Euros 13,619,598 in relation to measures carried out after 3 February 2009 and before 29 June 2011.

Until the European Commission has duly considered these documents and responded formally to the Department, no monies have been, or will be, returned from those received in respect of this EGF programme. Under Article 15.2 of the EGF Regulations, the European Commission shall wind up the financial contribution from the EGF no later than six months after it has received all the information required in relation to the final report and statement of expenditure.

Similarly, as the final report and statement of expenditure submitted to the European Commission are the subject of ongoing discussions between the parties, I will not be in a position to make them available until that process is complete.

The Department circulated an EGF review consultation document to relevant worker representative bodies and to service providers on 22 December 2011. This review exercise should be very useful to my Department in delivering on future EGF programmes in Ireland.

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