3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation
Despite recognition some years ago by the Department Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht of the necessity for joined-up policy making in concert with other departments of government, there are few formal mechanisms for on-going inter-ministerial co-operation. However, some progress is discernible arising in part from the more integrative partnership approach adopted by the Arts Council. As stated in the 2010 report on the Living and Working Conditions of Artists:
In recent years, there has been more integration of the arts into other areas of activity in society, including tourism, health, urban regeneration and the nurturing of the creativity of children and young people. In addition, an appreciation has emerged of the potential of the arts to link to wider economic innovation in the 'cultural industries' and the arts have become linked to plans to develop a 'smart economy'. (2010: 67)
Cultural development inevitably impacts on the work of several departments – Finance, Education and Skills, Environment, Community and Local Government, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Justice and Equality and Communications, Energy and Natural Resources etc. There is an interdepartmental group for Public Art and some formal linkage with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (see also chapter 3.4). The Percent for Art scheme, in operation across all Departments, allows an arts component for public bodies delivering capital projects financed by the government, with a share of expenditure on art of EUR 25 000 to EUR 64 000, depending on project size. In 2006, a Creative Engagement scheme involving artists with schools was funded by the Departments of Education and Science and of Arts, Sport and Tourism and Points of Alignment, a long-awaited arts in education report, drawn up by a newly assembled Special Committee on the Arts and Education, with membership from both government departments, was published in 2008 (see also chapter 4.1). The Arts and Culture Enhancement Support Scheme (ACCESS I and II), which concluded in 2009, involved considerable liaison between the then Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport and local authorities, through its provision of significant capital funding on a partnership basis for cultural facilities.