Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Questions (291)

Eamon Scanlon


291. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will report on the recent decision by the Citizens Information Board to cease funding the MABS national management forum, NMF, with immediate effect, which goes against the will of Dáil Éireann which voted for the restructuring process to be halted; if she will direct the Citizens Information Board to suspend the defunding of MABS NMF; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4789/18]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Citizens Information Board (CIB) is a statutory body established by the Oireachtas. In addition to its own statutory responsibilities in relation to information and advocacy service provision, it has statutory responsibility for the countrywide networks of Citizens Information Services (CIS) and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).

In February 2017, the Board of CIB decided to change its governance arrangements from ninety three individual service delivery companies to an eight region model. The new model will comprise sixteen new regional companies, with one CIS and one MABS company in each of the eight regions.

MABS National Management Forum (NMF) was established as a representative body for the 51 local MABS management companies. A small annual funding allocation was made by CIB to the NMF to cover expenses (such as travel and subsistence) incurred in its day to day activities.

As the 51 MABS local management boards will no longer be in place following establishment of the 8 new MABS regional companies, the NMF will have no function in the revised structure. Instead, CIB intends to deal directly with individual MABS companies on restructuring and with the new MABS regional companies once established. CIB wrote to NMF on January 18 2018 to inform them of its decision to cease direct funding.

However, any expenses (such as travel and subsistence) incurred by local MABS company representatives on the NMF, pending the establishment of the new regional management structure, can be claimed from their relevant local company.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.