The Institutes of Technology are autonomous statutory bodies. Under the terms of the relevant legislation, the governance and day-to-day management of the institutions, including procedures for dealing with allegations of bullying and harassment, are matters for which the Governing Bodies and the management of the relevant institutions are responsible. As employers all of the institutes of technology have in place formal procedures for dealing with allegations of bullying and harassment which provide for investigation of such matters by a third party. Any staff member who is not satisfied with the outcome of an investigation has a right of appeal to a Rights Commissioner. The Employment Equality Acts and Health and Safety legislation place specific obligations on employers in relation to protection from harassment and promoting the health and safety of their workers, who have rights and are entitled to due process.
Investigations into allegations of bullying and harassment, by their nature, can sometimes be lengthy and costly because due process is required.
Costs incurred by the institutions in addressing complaints of bullying and harassment are met from within the institutions' budgets and are not notified to my Department. Accordingly the information sought by the Deputy is not available in my Department. My Department has no record of having received a Freedom of Information Request from the person referred to by the Deputy. Institutes of Technology are also subject to the Freedom of Information legislation and all requests for Information received by institutions are required to be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of that legislation.