I apologise for being late to the House. I am not usually caught on the hop, but I was today.
I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 and 53 together.
The Citizens Information Board, CIB, is a statutory body established by the Oireachtas. In addition to its own statutory responsibilities on information and advocacy, it has statutory responsibility for the countrywide networks of Citizens Information Services, CIS, and Money Advice & Budgeting Service, MABS.
In February this year the board of CIB decided to change its governance from 93 individual service delivery companies to an eight region model, each with its own CIS and MABS regional company.
Also in February, the Citizens Information Board appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection regarding its planned restructuring of CIS and MABS. The committee recommended a cost-benefit analysis on the new regional board model be carried out. Following a procurement exercise, the Citizens Information Board commissioned independent economic consultants to provide that analysis. Its report was submitted to the committee on 21 September. I was also provided with the report and am pleased to note its findings indicate strong support for the implementation of the board's decision in February.
I understand the report was circulated to the board of CIB for information in advance of its last meeting on 20 September. It is also my understanding that the minutes of that meeting have not yet been approved by the board and so have not yet been published.
The report was prepared in response to the CIB's undertaking to the committee on social protection that it would have a cost-benefit analysis carried out on the final governance arrangement model. The was written by economic consultants. Its purpose was to analyse the matter and deliver findings and recommendations. It is an analytical report and as such does not require approval or sign-off by the board of CIB.
I am not aware that the board of CIB has concerns about the report. If any individual member of the board has any objection to its findings, that is a matter for the board of CIB.