National skills agency FÁS is deploying a new software system to automate European Social Funding (ESF) claims and improve its National Development Plan (NDP) reporting systems. The deal was awarded to software firm SAS after a tender process.
Under the Employment and Human Resource Development Programme of the NDP, a percentage of FÁS’s training costs can be claimed back from the ESF where these costs can be tracked to an individual client.
SAS Activity Based Management (ABM) was chosen after a lengthy trial including a proof of concept.
John Lee, senior European finance accountant at FÁS, said the SAS product was selected on the basis it could be easily integrated with other FÁS systems and would be easy to use.
FÁS is working to a fully automated process of analysing actual training costs down to the individual client level. The SAS system will allow users to analyse the information, drill down into the data and produce web-based reports for senior management and external organisations. FÁS is now investigating extending its use of SAS to other areas of the business.
“It is important for FÁS to be able to accurately cost its products and services at a strategic level. SAS software enables us to do this as well as giving us a sound basis for the preparation of EU claims and NDP reporting,” said Gerard Gasparro, director of finance.
Damien Peat, head of performance management, SAS Ireland, added that today’s public sector organisations need to be able to apportion costs, deliver full financial transparency and manage the key performance indicators that drive operations, and that SAS ABM and related performance management solutions are designed to help them achieve this.
By Brian Skelly