Written Answers. - National Disability Authority.

Tony Gregory

Question:

836 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the appeal and grievance procedure available within the remit of the proposed national disability authority. [1886/99]

In the report of the commission on the status of people with disabilities published in November 1996, the commission stated its belief that the creation of an executive body to monitor the impact of public policy and services on people with disability, which would be called a National Disability Authority is necessary if the primary aim of ensuring equality for all citizens is to be achieved. On 18 November 1997, I announced a Government decision in principle to establish on a statutory basis a National Disability Authority – NDA – and a disability support service – DSS. An establishment group was set up to report with detailed proposals on the new authority and support service. Its report published in June 1998, was approved by Government on 27 July 1998 and is currently in the process of implementation.

The Employment Equality Act, 1998, which was enacted on 18 June 1998, provides for specific grievance and redress procedures in cases of discrimination in employment on the grounds of disability.

Additionally, the proposed equal status legislation, which is expected to be published shortly, will provide for grievance and redress procedures in cases of discrimination on the grounds of disability in the area of services. I did not consider it appropriate for the National Disability Authority Bill, 1998, which was published on 3 December 1998, to include specific provision for grievance and redress procedures as these are already provided for in the Employment Equality Act which was enacted on 18 June 1998.