Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (720)

Holly Cairns


720. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Justice further to Parliamentary Question No. 171 of 10 September 2020, the number of officials engaged in social media listening as part of their communications duties; the grade of each; the way in which she has reacted effectively to issues as they arose relating to services being provided across the justice sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38112/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, and as outlined in my response to Question no. 171, part of my Department’s initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic involved social media listening to ensure that the Department could react effectively to issues as they arose in relation to services being provided across the Justice Sector. This involved two officials at Executive Officer and Clerical Officer level who followed “hashtags” and keywords that related to the Justice Sector as part of their wider day to day responsibilities.

This work meant my Department was in a position to respond earlier to issues that were arising online, when most of its workforce was working remotely. It also enabled my Department to respond to, or investigate issues, that were being raised on social media that were not being raised directly with the Department, its service providers, or through the various helplines or supports put in place for various agencies. Understanding the conversations that were happening online also assisted my Department in responding to queries raised by national and regional journalists on behalf of the public.

As the Deputy may be aware, my Department ceased this social media listening exercise earlier this year in July.

Questions Nos. 721 to 723, inclusive, answered with Question No. 691.