Sunday 21 January 2018

Government to review how IDA gauges investments

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The Government is to review how agencies including the IDA and Enterprise Ireland make investment decisions, to ensure the State is getting value for money.

The Department of Enterprise is seeking a team of "distinguished economic and financial experts" to carry out the probe, which will examine if the current economic appraisal model used by the agencies, including Údarás na Gaeltachta, is fit for purpose and what changes might be required.

The economic appraisal model is used to identify if supports given by the three agencies are likely to result in economic benefits in excess of the cost and to ensure the State gets value for money.

The appraisal model used by the agencies has been in place since 2003. An initial review by the Department identified a number of specific issues that need to be addressed.

"Given the extent of structural change in the economy and developments in enterprise policy, it is now deemed timely to review the economic appraisal model to ensure it continues to provide a robust basis for appraisal into the future," according to the Department, which has set aside about €80,000 to pay for the report.

The Department said that the appraisal model used by the agencies was designed to identify all the costs and benefits to the State of a proposed investment.

"According to the public spending code, a common mistake that is made is that all of the costs and benefits are not accurately estimated, leading to an incorrect benefit-cost ratio," according to the Department.

"For this reason it is essential that the current review takes place and accurately reflects the potential costs and benefits to agency support," it added.

Irish Independent

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