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Dáil Éireann - Private Members Business (Independents 4 Change)
Wednesday 24 May 2017

“That Dáil Éireann:

— that the statutory body Caranua has, to date, failed a large number of applicants in providing adequate access to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund;

— the high number of complaints and reports of dissatisfaction and negative experiences from applicants to that fund;

— the poor delivery of service and information to survivors based in the United Kingdom;

— the poor delivery of service and information to survivors in the deaf community in the State;

— that inadequate strategic planning, lengthy delays in the application process and poor communication practices have severely impacted on the experience of survivors accessing the fund;

— that there has been an unacceptable level of turnover in staff personnel;

— that there have been a number of serious and unacceptable breaches of the legislation relating to the fund;

— that the failure of previous Ministers for Education and Skills to carry out an undertaking to review the operation of the fund two years after its establishment, has added extra pain to survivors; and

— that there has been no operating board since March 2017; and

calls on the Minister for Education and Skills to:

— initiate a review of operations without further delay, to be concluded within a three month timeframe, and to consider the following recommendations:

— review of the eligibility criteria;

— review and expand the range of services available to applicants;

— review the inclusion of section 43 of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 to set up a special account in the name of the Minister for Health;

— streamline the application process giving clear timescales for processing and communicating decisions; and

— provide face to face appointments with applicants who wish to avail of them in order to breakdown communications barriers and reconcile with survivors who have had a negative experience during the application process;

— open up negotiations between the Office of Public Works and the Department of Education and Skills to provide office facilities for the day-to-day functions of Caranua, with no cost to be incurred by the survivor’s fund;

— draw up a new survivor-led customer charter to be adhered to, without exception, by all Caranua staff; and

— establish and clarify a system of appropriate oversight for the operations of Caranua and to provide immediate and appropriate oversight in the current absence of a sitting board.” — Catherine Connolly, Thomas P. Broughan, Joan Collins, Clare Daly, Maureen O'Sullivan, Thomas Pringle, Mick Wallace.

[18 May, 2017]