Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (699)

Noel Harrington

Question:

713 Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the State agencies and bodies within the remit of her Department that have the power to enter or search premises in the course of an investigation; if they need a search warrant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35310/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs)

I would like to inform the Deputy there are four agencies which are funded by the Exchequer through my Department's Vote. These are the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI); the Family Support Agency (FSA); the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) and the Ombudsman for Children. With effect from 1 January 2012, I have taken responsibility for the Children Detention Schools as provided in Part 10 of the Children Act 2001.

Limited powers are available to Educational Welfare Officers of the National Educational Welfare Board in relation to entry of premises and search of records in the performance of their statutory functions. These powers are conferred in accordance with the provisions of Section 21 and Section 30 of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 and relate to the entry of recognised schools to inspect the school register and the entry of premises to conduct enquiries where an Educational Welfare Officer has grounds to believe a young person (as defined in the Act) may be employed.

An Educational Welfare Officer shall only enter a private dwelling with the consent of the occupier or in accordance with a warrant issued by the District Court.

I can confirm that the other agencies or bodies under the aegis of my Department have no power to enter or search premises in the course of an investigation.