Special Reports - Value for Money

Value for Money Reports record the results of examinations into (a) the economy and efficiency with which State bodies acquire, use and dispose of resources (b) the systems, procedures and practices employed by State bodies for evaluation the effectiveness of their operations
  • VFM Report 50: Property Sale by Shannon Development Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 22 November 2005

    The report presents the findings of an examination that looked into whether the disposal of a property by Shannon Development had been effected on the best terms reasonably obtainable and in accordance with public financial procedures. The report also examined Shannon Development's property disposal procedures generally.

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  • VFM Report 49: Waste Management in Hospitals Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 24 June 2005

    Potentially hazardous waste material arising from healthcare-related activities — healthcare risk waste — requires special management and the use of costly handling and disposal arrangements to avoid causing infection or injury to those who come in contact with it, and to minimise negative impacts on the environment. Hospitals also produce large volumes of non-risk waste. The examination sought to identify - the level of output of waste in publicly-funded hospitals in Ireland, and the type of waste produced - the costs associated with the collection, handling, treatment and disposal of such waste - good practice in the management of waste in publicly-funded hospitals. A survey of publicly-funded hospitals was undertaken to inform the examination.

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  • VFM Report 48: The Grouped Schools Pilot Partnership Project Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 28 September 2004

    The Department of Education and Science, together with Jarvis Projects Ltd, developed a public private partnership (PPP) for the construction of five second level schools, and for the maintenance and running of the school buildings over a 25-year contract period. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at how the Department managed the project, and how it evaluated the proposals received from potential private sector partners and the value for money offered by the final agreed deal. It also looked at the lessons learned from the project, both for the future provision of second level schools and for other PPP projects

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  • VFM Report 47: Television Licence Fee Collection Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 29 April 2004

    The Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources is responsible for putting in place arrangements for the collection of fees for television licences. An Post (the State-owned postal company) acts as the agent for the sale of licences, and for the pursuit of licence fee evaders. The report gives the results of an examination of how the Department manages the fee collection process and the agency arrangement to ensure their effectiveness. It also looked at the efficiency of the collection procedures adopted by An Post.

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  • VFM Report 46; The Probation and Welfare Service Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 26 April 2004

    The Probation and Welfare Service supervises offenders subject to community-based sanctions; provides reports to judges to assist them in making sentencing decisions; and is involved in rehabilitation and re-integration of prisoners. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at how well the Service addressed the demands for its outputs and the efficiency of its operations. It also looked at how well the Service evaluates the effectiveness of its operations.

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  • VFM Report 45: Evaluation of Control Activity Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 26 February 2004

    The Department of Social and Family Affairs carries out control procedures designed to detect fraud and errors in income support payments, and to prevent such cases arising. It also seeks to recover overpayments and to prosecute those committing fraud. The report presents the results of an examination that looked at the extent to which review and control activity is informed by an assessment of the risk of fraud and error attaching to the different welfare schemes. It also looked at the Department's effectiveness in recovering and deterring overpayments, and how it evaluates its performance in that regard.

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  • VFM Report 44: Waiting List Initiative Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 26 November 2003

    The Department of Health and Children introduced the Waiting List Initiative (WLI) to deal with the problem of significant numbers of patients waiting long periods of time for elective inpatient treatment in the acute hospitals. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at how well the WLI funding was used. It also looked at impact of the WLI on the target group of long waiting patients, and at how waiting time and waiting lists were monitored and managed.

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  • VFM Report 43: The Building Maintenance Service Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 18 February 2003

    The Office of Public Works' Building Maintenance Service (BMS) carries out general maintenance work and specialised restoration and repair work on State property. The financial statement on the operation of the BMS indicated that the BMS had incurred a significant loss on its activities in 2000. The report presents the results of an examination that looked at the management and operation of the BMS to establish the reasons for the reported loss.

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  • VFM Report 42: Car Parking at Beaumont Hospital Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 25 February 2003

    Beaumont Hospital arranged with a private sector consortium for the construction and operation of a multi-story car park on the hospital campus. The report presents the results of an examination that looked at the arrangement involved in procuring the car park and the systems and procedures put in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the arrangements from the hospital's and the taxpayers' points of view.

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  • VFM Report 42: Beaumont Car Park: Appendices Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 25 February 2003

    This appendix reproduces the text of a report sent to the Board of Beaumont Hospital on 17 September 1998. Other than the developer who submitted the successful proposal and related companies, the names of private parties are not reproduced here. All amounts of money are shown here in Euro equivalents. The original report presented monetary amounts in IR£.

  • VFM Report 41: Planning Appeals Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 11 July 2002

    Spatial planning is regulated by local planning authorities whose decisions can be appealed to a national agency - An Bord Pleanála (the Planning Board). Appeals involve a complete re-examination by the Board of the application for permission. The report presents the results of an examination of how well the Board manages the appeals system. It also looked at how the effectiveness of the appeals system is evaluated by the Board and by the Department of the Environment and Local Government.

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  • VFM Report 40: Purchasing of Tyres by An Garda Siochana Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 22 November 2001

    The Garda Síochána (Police)Transport Section has overall responsibility for the management and maintenance of the Garda vehicle fleet. Newspaper reports alleged that senior members of the Transport Section involved in the purchasing of tyres for the fleet had been entertained on recreational trips abroad, paid for by the principal supplier of tyres to the force. The report presents the results of an examination that looked at whether there was a loss of economy in the purchase of tyres by the Garda Síochána. It also examined the tendering, procurement and payment procedures for tyres for the Garda Síochána to establish if they accorded with best practice.

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  • VFM Report 39: Expenditure Review Initiative Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 30 January 2002

    The Department of Finance established the Expenditure Review Initiative (ERI) with the objective of ensuring that the efficiency and effectiveness of all government expenditure would be reviewed over a three-year period. The report presents the findings of an examination that identified and evaluated the extent to which the ERI achieved its objectives. It examined how comprehensive the reviews of expenditure were, and whether or not they were carried out well. It also looked at the arrangements put in place to manage the ERI.

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  • VFM Report 38: Civil Service Training and Development Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 06 April 2001

    Government departments are generally responsible for meeting the training needs of their staff. In addition, the Department of Finance provides corporate support across the civil service for management training and development. The report presents the results of an examination of training and development activity across the civil service and of how it could be improved in terms of its organisation, management and overall effectiveness.

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  • VFM Report 37: Collection of Fines Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 03 April 2001

    Responsibility for management of the different stages in the fine process is spread across a number of agencies, but falls primarily on the Garda Síochána (Police) and on the Courts Service. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at how well the fine system operates in relation to cases within the jurisdiction of the District Court. In particular, it looked at how successful the fines system is in ensuring that financial penalties are imposed and collected and how well the various processes in the system are managed by the Garda Síochána and by the Court Service.

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  • VFM Report 36: Special Housing Aid for the Elderly Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 15 February 2001

    The Department of the Environment and Local Government operates a grant scheme that aims to improve the living conditions of elderly people who live in unsanitary or unfit accommodation, but who have neither the financial means to pay for remedial works, nor the capacity to arrange them. The scheme is operated at local level by the Health Boards on behalf of the Department. The report presents the results of an examination that assessed how the scheme is implemented. It also looked at how the implementing agencies measure the impact of the scheme on those in need, and the system and procedures in place to evaluate the scheme's overall effectiveness.

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  • VFM Report 35: Met Éireann (Irish Meteororogical Services) Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 03 October 2000

    Met Éireann (the Irish Meteorological Service) provides weather forecasts and associated climatology and meteorology services. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at how Met Éireann measures and reports on its performance, including the accuracy of its weather forecasting. It also looked at the arrangements between Met Éireann and its parent Department for management of the performance of the Service.

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  • VFM Report 34: Central Bank Financial regulation Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 01 December 1999

    The Central Bank has responsibility for the regulation of credit and investment institutions. Regulation work includes the licensing of institutions to operate in Ireland, monitoring of financial information about institutions and on-site inspections of documentation and internal control arrangements. It also includes the review of procedures in force in the institutions to counter money laundering. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at how the Central Bank determines the effectiveness of its regulatory function.

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  • VFM Report 33: The Driver Testing Service Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 11 May 2000

    The Driver Testing Service is responsible for testing the competence of drivers for licensing purposes. Driving tests are carried out at test centres located throughout the country. The report present the results of an examination on how the Service ensures that driving tests are carried out to a common standard and how long applicants have to wait for a test to be provided. It also looked at costs of providing the tests.

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  • VFM Report 32: Impact of Value for Money Examinations 1994-1996 Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 01 February 2000

    The first sixteen Value for Money (VFM) Reports were produced in the period 1994-1996. The reports covered a wide range of issues dealing with economy, efficiency, project management and the assessment of effectiveness. This report present the results of a follow-up examination carried out in 1999 to establish what impact had occurred as a result of the reports produced in the period 1994 –1996.

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  • VFM Report 31: Local Development Initiatives Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 08 February 2000

    A number of separate initiatives and agencies were established to promote local and community development. These included County Enterprise Boards, area based partnerships and LEADER groups. The report presents the results of an examination that looked at specific issues relating to the administrative and operational efficiency of the initiatives, the arrangements for co-ordination between the bodies and approaches to evaluation of their impact.

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  • VFM Report 30: Performance Measurement in Teagasc (the Agriculture and Food Development Authority) Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 24 September 1999

    Teagasc (the Agriculture and Food Development Authority) provides advisory, research, education and training services to the agriculture and food industry. The report gives the results of an examination of the systems Teagasc uses to monitor its performance and to evaluate its effectiveness in each of its areas of operation.

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  • VFM Report 29: The Development of the National Roads Network Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 26 May 1999

    The National Roads Authority (NRA) was set up in 1994 to secure the provision of a safe and efficient network of national primary and secondary roads. The report presents the results of an examination that looked at whether the systems in place in the NRA were adequate to ensure that the resources provided for the national roads development programme are used economically, efficiently and effectively.

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  • VFM Report 28: Year 2000 Compliance Projects Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 12 May 1999

    Government departments and State agencies spent significant resources to ensure that their business operations would not be adversely affected by the Year 2000 IT problem. The report presents the results of an examination on how Year 2000 compliance work was organised and managed in selected Government departments and agencies.

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  • VFM Report 27: Defence Property Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 01 April 1999

    The Department of Defence has an extensive property portfolio of land and buildings. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at the nature, extent and operational costs associated with defence property and at current arrangements for the management of the property portfolio.

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  • VFM Report 26: Use of Sheriffs and Solicitors in the Collection of Taxes Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 20 April 1999

    The Revenue Commissioners employ sheriffs and solicitors as enforcing agents to pursue the collection of outstanding taxes. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at the strategies and targets adopted by the Revenue Commissioners in referring outstanding tax cases to the most suitable enforcement agent, and the efforts of those agents to recover the amounts due.

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  • VFM Report 25: Administration of Premium and Headage Grant Applications Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 27 January 1999

    The Department of Agriculture and Food administers a range of grant schemes under which payments are made to farmers producing livestock and certain tillage crops. Most of the funding for the schemes is provided by the European Union, which sets the payment rates and eligibility criteria, and specifies the administrative and control regimes the Department is required to operate. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at the efficiency of the Department in processing grant applications. It also looked at the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department's on-farm inspection system, designed to validate grant applications.

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  • VFM Report 24: The Provision and Management of Industrial Property Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 03 November 1998

    IDA Ireland, Shannon Development and Údaras na Gaeltachta are involved in industrial and regional development. Their activities include the provision of industrial property as a means of attracting new business ventures to the areas for which the agencies are responsible. The report presents the findings of an examination of the extent to which the agencies manage their respective property economically and efficiently. It also looked at whether industrial property is acquired, developed and disposed of in an economic and efficient manner.

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  • VFM Report 23: The Administration of Supplementary Welfare Allowances Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 02 September 1998

    The supplementary welfare allowances scheme is a welfare scheme of last resort, providing financial and other assistance to applicants on the basis of need. The scheme is managed by the Department of Social and Family Affairs but is administered locally by the Health Boards' community welfare services. The report presents the findings of an examination that looked at the efficiency of the administration of the scheme and the potential for improving the service provided. It also looked at how changes in the nature and extent of poverty are impacting on the scope of the scheme.

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  • VFM Report 22: Consultancies in the Civil Service Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 11 June 1998

    While the use of external consultancies by government departments had increased significantly, the amount of information available about the nature and cost of consultancies and the reasons why they were commissioned was limited. The report presents the findings of an examination that set out to gather information about consultancies undertaken by all government departments in the period 1994 to 1996. It looked at how the need for consultants is established prior to the engagement process, and the extent to which consultancy services are acquired in the most economical manner. It also looked at how efficiently consultancies are managed and how the output and impact of consultancies are assessed.

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  • VFM Report 21: Value Added Tax Collection and Control Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 30 April 1998

    Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax on consumer spending The collection and control procedures for VAT are based on self assessment by registered traders. The report gives the results of a review of VAT collection and control procedures, with particular reference to the results achieved from management of the registration system and from VAT collection, control and enforcement work.

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  • VFM Report 20: The Emergency Ambulance Services Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 21 April 1998

    Emergency ambulance services are provided by the regional Health Boards in their respective regions. As well as providing pre-hospital emergency medical care and transportation of the seriously ill and injured to hospital, ambulances are also used to transport patients between hospitals for urgent or planned treatment and for more routine transport of patients to clinics and day care centres. This examination was undertaken to establish the extent to which the emergency ambulance services are provided efficiently and economically.

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  • VFM Report 19: Prescribing Practices and the Development of General Practitioner Services Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 28 January 1998

    The General Medical services (GMS) scheme entitles holders of means-tested medical cards to have access to a comprehensive range of state funded health services. This includes access, free of charge, to general practitioner services and prescribed drugs and medicines. The report presents the findings of an examination of the cost effectiveness of prescribing within the GMS scheme, and the scope for savings. It also looked at the extent to which planned improvements in general practice have been implemented.

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  • VFM Report 18: Management of Inland Fisheries Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 13 November 1997

    Seven Regional Fisheries Boards have responsibility for the management, conservation, protection and development of the inland fisheries in Ireland's freshwater lakes and rivers, and for certain activities at sea. The Central Fisheries Board has responsibility for overall coordination and, where necessary, for direction of the Regional Boards. This report presents the findings of an examination of the management of the inland fisheries, including management of coarse and game fishing and sea angling, fishery protection and the management of water quality in rivers and lakes.

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  • VFM Report 17: The Development of the Integrated Short-Term Schemes Computer System Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 13 May 1997

    The Department of Social Welfare developed the Integrated Short-term Schemes (ISTS) system to provide for the operation and administration of short-term income support schemes. It replaced a number of existing scheme systems which had been operating independently of each other. This report presents the findings of an examination that looked at how well the project to develop the ISTS system was planned and managed. It also looked at the use of consultancy assistance for the project, the costs incurred, the efficiency with which the system was implemented, and the extent to which the projected benefits were realised.

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  • VFM Report 16: Arterial Drainage of the Boyle and Bonet Rivers Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 26 June 1997

    The Office of Public Works carried out major schemes of drainage works on the Boyle and Bonet river systems. This involved artificial widening and deepening of river channels, to increase their drainage capacity and thus to improve agricultural land in the river catchments. This report presents the findings of an examination carried out to establish the outturns of the schemes in terms of producing the planned outputs within time and budgetary targets. It also looked at the post-completion maintenance of the schemes, the cost and efficiency of scheme works and how the effectiveness of the schemes was evaluated.

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  • VFM Report 15: Administrative Budgets in the Irish Civil Service Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 13 May 1997

    Civil service departments operate under a system of devolved 'administrative budgets' to cover their running costs, including payroll. The budget system is intended to provide incentives for departments to increase administrative efficiency and reduce spending. This report presents the findings of an examination of the effectiveness of the budgetary system and its impact on civil service administrative expenditure. It also looked at the role of the Department of Finance in the budgeting process, and the extent of devolved budgeting within civil service departments.

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  • VFM Report 14: The Irish Genealogical Project Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 23 April 1997

    The Irish Genealogical Project was started, under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach, with the aim of developing a searchable computerised database of information relevant to family history research in Ireland. This report presents the findings of an examination that looked at the extent to which the project has succeeded in creating a comprehensive and accurate database, and in putting in place a planned national system for delivering a family history research service. The management of the project was also reviewed.

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  • VFM Report 13: Ordnance Survey Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 07 May 1997

    The Ordnance Survey (OS) is the state mapping agency. It has responsibility for the compilation and provision of maps and other data which are required by users of geographic information. This report presents the results of an examination of the age profile of the OS's map data, the quality of service provided to its customers and its financial performance. It also looked at the impact on the OS of changes in its operating environment, particularly advances in computer-based mapping technologies.

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  • VFM Report 12: Procurement in Universities Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 22 January 1997

    Responsibility for procurement of goods and services in the seven Irish Universities is generally delegated to academic and administrative departments. The extent of the delegation varies, and some central procurement and storage responsibilities are retained at institutional level. This report presents the findings of an examination that looked at the adequacy of the procurement arrangements within each of the universities, and at areas where scope for combined purchasing arrangements might be applied. Nine categories of goods and services were examined, including cleaning and security services and purchase of books and chemicals.

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  • VFM Report 11: The National Museum at Collins Barracks Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 28 January 1997

    A major project to create a new National Museum facility at Collins Barracks in Dublin commenced in 1994. Work was to be carried out an a phased basis up to 1999. This report presents the findings of an examination designed to establish if the project was adequately appraised and planned and if it was managed efficiently.

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  • VFM Report 10: Planning of Second Level School Accommodation Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 22 January 1997

    The Department of Education funds a significant capital programme for the provision, refurbishment and maintenance of second level school buildings. Demand for funding for individual projects reflects the complex interplay of demographic changes in school catchments, deterioration in the stock of existing buildings, proposals for amalgamation of schools and policies for curriculum expansion and development. This report presents the findings of an examination of the Department's systems for planning and managing the provision of second level school accommodation.

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  • VFM Report 9: Gulliver : The Irish Tourism Information and Reservation System Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 25 September 1996

    Bord Failte (the Irish Tourist Board) and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board co-operated in a joint project to develop a computer-based tourist information and accommodation reservation system. The system – called Gulliver – was developed within the two Boards by internal IT staff, with external consultant assistance. This report presents the results of an examination, which reviewed the extent to which the system delivered what was planned, and its use by the tourist industry. It also looked at the cost of the system, and how it was managed.

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  • VFM Report 8: Means Testing Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 21 February 1996

    Mean testing is a procedure carried out by a number of state agencies to validate entitlements to various state and local authority schemes. Information gathered usually relates to an applicant's financial status at a point in time. This report presents the findings of an examination that looked at the scope for simplification and rationalisation of means testing, both to reduce the costs of implementing means tests and to reduce the burden of testing on applicant for entitlement.

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  • VFM Report 7: FEOGA Borrowing Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 18 April 1996

    The Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry borrowed funds on a bridging finance basis to meet the cost of purchasing commodities for intervention storage of certain agricultural products and to fund payments in respect of certain schemes under the EU Common Agricultural Policy. Expenditure was subsequently reimbursed by the EU at agreed rates. The report present the results of an examination of how efficiently the Department managed its borrowing activities, how well the associated risks were managed and lessons which can be learned for the future.

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  • VFM Report 6: Regional Development Measures Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 26 March 1996

    Expenditure on regional development measures in Ireland, jointly funded by the State, the European Union and the private sector, has absorbed an enormous amount of resources over many years. Consequently, it is very important that funds be used to best effect and in a way that contributes to the achievement of key national economic objectives. This report presents the findings of an examination that sought to establish how the effectiveness of a number of regional developments was evaluated. Programmes examined included transport, science and technology, tourism, small and medium industry, marketing and water and sanitary services infrastructure.

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  • VFM Report 5: Management of Telephone Facilities in the Civil Service Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 01 February 1996

    This report presents the findings of an examination of expenditure by all Government departments on communication services. In particular, it looked at the extent to which potential economies — including optimum utilisation of the Government's own private network — were being realised. It also looked at how telephone costs were monitored in departments.

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  • VFM Report 4; Gas Interconnector Project Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 05 December 1995

    Bord Gáis Éireann (BGE) manages the national natural gas transmission and distribution system. Because the indigenous supply of natural gas was limited, BGE undertook a major project to construct an undersea pipeline to connect the Irish natural gas grid with the UK grid, and thus into the wider European grid. The report presents the results of an examination of the procedures employed in the planning and execution of the project.

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  • VFM Report 3: Garda Transport Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 22 November 1995

    Transport services for the Garda Síochána (Police) are administered by the Transport Division, based in Garda Headquarters. The Division provides and maintains a fleet of vehicles for policing operations, Ministerial transport and other transport services including assistance to the prison service. The report gives the results of an examination of the management and performance of the Garda vehicle fleet.

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  • VFM Report 2: Energy Management in the Health Service Adobe PDF format document

    Published on 25 April 1995

    This examination reviewed the management of energy in hospitals, welfare homes and other residential institutions. It looked at how economically fuels and energy supplies are procured and the efficiency of conversion of fuels into energy output. It also looked at the success of measures taken to minimise the price of fuels or to substitute cheaper inputs and to control energy consumption.

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