Government has committed to full commencement of the amended 2015 Act, and full operationalisation of the DSS by July 2022. There is a substantial programme of work that must be completed in advance of that date.
A high-level Steering Group, chaired by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, meets monthly to oversee and drive progress towards full commencement. This is supported by a range of bilateral engagements. The Steering Group comprises senior officials from relevant Departments and agencies.
A budget of €7.3 million has been secured for the Decision Support Service in 2022. This represents an increase of €1.5 million compared to 2021 and a doubling of financial resources since the transfer of functions to my Department in 2020.
To date, the Decision Support Service has made considerable progress in putting in place the administrative and IT systems needed to operate the 2015 Act. It is working actively at the moment to undertake detailed forecasting of potential demand and to have the systems in place to cope with potential high volumes of requests for its services.