Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (265)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

265. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the recent resignation of two members of the board of an organisation (details supplied); the reason for the resignations; his views on the reason provided for the resignations; if his attention has been further drawn to the lack of progress in respect of ongoing issues at the organisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9867/18]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I am aware that 2 members of the Board of Caranua have resigned.  The Board of Caranua has the important job of securing the most beneficial, effective and efficient use of the resources available in the investment account while being fair to survivors, seeking to meet their needs and benefit as many people as possible.  I thanked both of the former survivor members for their contribution to the work of the Board.  

Caranua has, up until the end of December, expended €72.5m on services for survivors.  The services include:

Applications Value by Category Type

Cumulative

Health

€19.7 million

Housing

€51.3 million

Education

€1.3 million

Exceptional Needs

€170,709

Total Value of Applications Paid

€72.5 million

They are now publishing statistics on the feedback they receive from survivors and for 2017, there was a 90% satisfaction rate.  

In 2016, following consultation with survivors, the Board changed their criteria to include household goods and funeral expenses.  This was in response to what survivors were calling for on how the fund should be utilised.

As well as having to comply with the Code of Practice for the Governance for State Bodies, Caranua are in process of implementing the following measures:

- It is reviewing its customer charter in consultation with stakeholders;

- It is making data available on feedback and complaints received;

- It is working to increase the level of face-to-face engagement with applicants. It is doing this through scheduled face-to-face meetings in various venues in Dublin, in the regions and in the UK.

- It is working to enhance the level of statistics it provides to the Department and to the public on waiting times for processing and communicating decisions. 

Following the resignation of two members, there are still two survivors on the Board of Caranua and my Department will be seeking to replace the Board members who resigned as soon as practicable.