Further criticism for An Taisce report

The controversial An Taisce report which ranked Mayo as one of the worst local authorities when it came to planning decisions has been further criticised this week, with the County and City Managers’ Association (CCMA ) calling on An Taisce to recall the report in its entirety.

The CCMA has said that An Taisce’s report is fundamentally flawed from a number of perspectives. “Both the presentation of indicators and the reporting of statistics throughout the report are flawed and require further major revisions,” said CCMA chairman Hubert Kearns.

The association also hit out at An Taisce for not giving the logic or justification for the choice of indicators used in the report, and for omitting any reference to the existing indicators for local authorities.

“There is a lack of clarity on what weighting, if any, has been applied to individual indicators chosen by An Taisce,” Mr Kearns added. “The grading system developed by An Taisce is an unbalanced scorecard. The raw data used to generate the rankings and league tables should be presented as an appendix to the report to ensure that the results can be verified. The unknown authors of the An Taisce report ought to have attached greater importance to the accurate use of statistics, and the report is missing a chapter to explain clearly how the ranking model deals with weighting issues to ensure there is no urban or rural bias.”

The CCMA also pointed out that An Taisce withdrew the original report and republished it with new tables following queries from local authorities. Mayo County Council had indicated last week that the scoring on the report contained elementary errors in simple arithmetic, saying: “This apparent inability to ensure the most basic quality control undermines the credibility of the entire report.”


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