Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Questions (252)

Róisín Shortall


252. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the recent changes at the Reception and Integration Agency which have been carried out as part of his Department’s reorganisation; if he will provide an updated public representative inquiry telephone number and email; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41708/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that, as part of the Department’s Transformation Process, the Reception & Integration Agency (RIA), as it was formally known, was divided into two new sections within the Immigration Service Delivery Function; International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) and International Protection Procurement Services (IPPS).  IPPS takes responsibility for the procurement, contract management, inspection and payments functions associated with the accommodation provided to persons seeking international protection.  Previously, this was a dedicated unit within RIA.  The other functions of RIA (operations, education, and child and family services) are now the responsibility of IPAS. 

There were various reasons behind this division:

- RIA, although referred to as an Agency, was not formally established as an Agency and operated as a section within my Department, led by a Principal Officer; 

- RIA’s integration function was assigned to another office of my Department in July 2007; 

- The volume of work being undertaken in the area of contract management and procurement of accommodation has increased significantly in recent years.  This is due to an increase in the number of centres, the movement to a new model of procurement of accommodation and the additional work associated with procurement and management of emergency accommodation.   

The contact telephone number for IPAS remains the same as the historical contact number for RIA.  A new email address (ipas_inbox@justice.ie) is now in operation and the historical email address (ria_inbox@justice.ie) will remain operational for an interim period to ensure continuity of service.