Minister uses Committee appearance to refute allegations around funding for Cultural Programme
The Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has provided irrefutable evidence to the CAL Committee demonstrating how they were kept fully informed of the funding for the Cultural Programme.At an appearance before the committee today, the Minister informed members that on 13 separate occasions since 2013 they had been briefed on the Cultural Programme and related topics.
The Minister said:
“There is overwhelming evidence to show how the CAL Committee were kept fully informed of the Cultural Programme and its funding and this totally belies any suggestions that there was anything secretive surrounding its funding.
“As well as the oral briefings provided to the committee, the Department, in written responses to the committee requests in June and September 2013, advised them that a bid for £500k had been made in the June Monitoring that year to deliver the Programme and further advised that the Department had decided to incorporate additional cultural events from three established Belfast festivals – Belfast Film Festival, Feile and the McCracken Summer School. The bid was agreed by the Executive, which included the current CAL Committee Chair who at that time was the DSD Minister.
“Additionally, the then Chair of the CAL Committee asked two Written Questions in 2013 about the application process and criteria for groups wishing to access funding to deliver content for the Cultural Programme and how the £500k bid will be spent. The responses outlined that the bid was supported by a business case and that there was no call for applications but that the Programme was an extension of activities already on offer by DCAL’s ALBs and PRONI.”