Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Departmental Reports.

8.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will outline his policy in relation to the publication of all reports commissioned by his Department or other agencies funded in whole or in part by his Department; if he will introduce changes to the present arrangements to ensure that all such reports are published in future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Reports on the activities of my Department and papers relating to proposed developments in their schemes are published from time to time.

My Department have contributed financially to the cost of researches carried out by organisations in the social field. The publication of reports on these researches is a matter for the organisations concerned. I am in favour of publishing any such reports, or reports commissioned by my Department, which are considered to be of general public interest.

When was the last report of the Department of Social Welfare published?

What particular report?

The general report on the activities of the Department of Social Welfare.

The last report covers the period 1976-78.

Does the Minister agree that the publication of that report in recent months is not entirely satisfactory? Will he make arrangements to have a more up-to-date report on the activities of the Department since 1978 published at an early date?

Generally speaking, reports of Departments, such as the department of Social Welfare, are usually delayed because they are very extensive. I will convey the Deputy's wishes to the Minister.