Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (111)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

111. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach the public consultations planned in his Department over the coming months. [11967/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

There is only one public consultation currently planned by my Department in 2019. This relates to the Government’s annual National Risk Assessment.

Given that my Department is largely concerned with coordination across Departments, it doesn’t generally hold a significant number of public consultations on specific policy issues. However, while no other public consultations are currently planned in 2019, it is of course possible that this may change during the course of the year.

In terms of the public consultation planned as part of the annual National Risk Assessment, it is intended to launch it in quarter two to help inform development of the annual National Risk Assessment Report, which is generally published by July.

The National Risk Assessment is an annual exercise which aims to ensure a broad-based and inclusive debate on the strategic risks facing the country. One of the lessons of the recent crisis is that Government didn’t pay enough attention to dissenting opinions and the National Risk Assessment provides an opportunity for an open and inclusive conversation on risks.

This will be the sixth year the Government has produced the National Risk Assessment, and it has highlighted important issues since first published in 2014, including one of the earliest official acknowledgments of the risks arising from a potential Brexit.

The development of the 2019 National Risk Assessment is at an early stage. In addition to cross-Departmental consultation, and public consultation, my Department plans to hold an Open Policy Seminar in Quarter 2, and all of these elements will inform the final Report, which as I mentioned, is generally published by July.