Special Report 66 ? Advertising and Promotion in FÁS     Press Release

Dublin Castle 

Press Release: Advertising and Promotion in FÁS

The Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr John Buckley, has today 10th September 2009 published a report arising from an examination of the management of advertising and promotion in FÁS.

The examination was part of a follow up to a Special Report issued in April 2008 and subsequent consideration of that report and other matters relating to FÁS by the Committee of Public Accounts.

The examination covered the period from 2002 to 2008.  In that time FÁS spent just over ?48 million on advertising, promotion and related activities.  FÁS had the largest advertising spend in the non-commercial State sector.

The examination found that advertising and promotional activities lacked strategic direction and that much of the advertising was ineffective in increasing awareness of services provided by FÁS.  Budgetary control was poor and expenditure in the area exceeded budgets by 38% in the period under review.  There was some wasted expenditure including over ?600,000 spent on producing TV advertisements that were not broadcast and a further ?600,000 for which no services were delivered.

The examination found that FÁS did not always meet public sector procurement requirements and there were shortcomings in its internal financial controls which resulted in breaches of expenditure authorisation limits and a failure to track all expenditure commitments.

The report identifies a number of areas where improvements could be made to the systems, practices and procedures employed by FÁS.

In the coming months, the Comptroller and Auditor General will issue a second report covering governance and internal control in the Agency.

Notes for Editors

The Comptroller and Auditor General is an independent constitutional officer with responsibility for the audit of public funds.  He reports to Dáil ?reann.

The full text of the report is available on the website of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (go to www.audgen.gov.ie).

For further information about the report, please contact Niamh Kilkenny at 01 603 1027 or at Niamh Kilkenny@audgen.irlgov.ie