The Order of Business is Nos. 1 and 2. No. 1, Planning and Development (Strategic Infrastructure) Bill 2006 — Report and Final Stages, to be taken on the conclusion of the Order of Business and to conclude not later than 5 p.m.; and No. 2, Road Safety Authority Bill 2004 — Second Stage (resumed), to be taken at 5.30 p.m. and to conclude not later than 7 p.m., with the contributions of Senators not to exceed ten minutes each and the Minister to be called upon to reply not later than ten minutes before the conclusion of Second Stage. There will be a sos from 5 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Order of Business.
We accept today's Order of Business. I wish to take this opportunity to put on record my view, and I suspect the view of the vast majority of the travelling public who have had to witness it, on the wildcat industrial action over the past two days by certain elements who allegedly want to support public transport. It is unacceptable that the travelling public can be dealt with like this. People arrived at train stations yesterday unaware of this action. Will the management of Iarnród Éireann indicate why people were not informed? Given the fact that it knew this situation was at hand and that it was forewarned of it, why was no public information given to people who wanted to use the rail service yesterday?
That is unacceptable from the management of Iarnród Éireann but it is equally unacceptable for the unions involved to take out their difficulties in terms of training for these new trains on the travelling public. This is a reminder of an industrial age we hoped had long since gone. There are implications in this for the current partnership talks. This is a clear breach of the existing pay agreement and the associated commitments within that agreement.
I ask the Government to provide time in the House, possibly today or tomorrow, so that everyone can put their views on this issue on the record. We have made a major investment in rail transport in recent years. The State is now subsidising the service to a significant degree in order to bring it up from the Third World service we had for many years. We now find that the main actors want to put all of that to one side. It is not acceptable and I wish to use this opportunity to speak on behalf of the vast majority of people who want to get on with their business without this kind of discommoding of service.
In dealing with industrial relations issues it is regularly pointed out to me how slow groups like IBEC have been to say when things go wrong with their members and that they are afraid to single them out for criticism. We do it differently on the other side. I do not have the slightest difficulty whatever in condemning this action. It is inappropriate, unofficial and is in breach of the national wage talks.
I wish to put on the record that the unions clearly said yesterday they did not approve of it. They said it was unofficial and they told the drivers to go back to work. I hope Senator Brian Hayes corrects the impression he gave in this regard as it is completely wrong of him to state that the unions are trying to take out their frustration on the travelling public. The unions had decided to continue with the talks and the introduction of the carriages. Two people withdrew their labour, as we all know they are constitutionally entitled to do. No one approves of it, least of all their own unions who had spent weeks in talks in trying to resolve difficulties.
The matter had gone to the Labour Court, which had given a ruling which some of the drivers did not accept but the union did accept. Other issues were to be discussed, starting from today, which management and the unions were content to discuss. This is a failure of processes and a breach of agreements but I stress it is due to individuals and not to any union structures. It has not been sanctioned by union representatives participating in talks in Government Buildings who will do all in their power to correct this. There is no justification for it.
Senator Brian Hayes is correct that the dispute should not have come on us like a ton of bricks yesterday morning. Apparently, management was aware of a problem last Friday afternoon and it offered the drivers additional training over the weekend but it should have at least indicated the problem to the public. I regret that did not happen but I regret the dispute more than anything following five years of peace in the most difficult workplace for industrial relations. Five years of industrial peace in CIE did not come about easily, as it required significant investment by the company in its human resources structures, which were appalling prior to that. The management representatives involved in human resources and the union leadership in this area have done their best to get the company working. I cannot remember another five years of industrial peace in the company and we should try to get back to that situation.
No. 9 on the Order Paper is a Bill relating to the naming of places in the Gaeltacht. The House will be delighted that Kerry County Council decided by a large majority on Monday to put the naming of Dingle to a vote of the people. The council decided the vote would not be restricted to townlands or civil parishes. It will cover the municipal area, as determined by the council, in accordance with the interpretation of the Act provided by its advisers. This is line with my interpretation of the legislation and that of Senator Coghlan but it is different from the interpretation of the Attorney General and the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
I will not introduce the Bill until the plebiscite takes place in Dingle. There is no doubt about the result, which will be in conflict with the legislation, and this will have to be resolved by the Government.
Nuair a tharlóidh sé, tá súil agam nach mbeidh reifreann eile i mbaile fearainn eile ar imeall Gaeltachta ag iarraidh go n-athrófar an logainm ó Ghaelainn go Béarla toisc nach dtaitnaíonn sé le daoine bheith ainmnithe mar chuid den Ghaeltacht. Má theastaíonn le pobal an Daingin an logainm a athrú go Béarla, ba chóir go n-imeoidh siad amach as an Ghaeltacht. Ní féidir liom theacht ar an réiteach go mbeidh ainm oifigiúil Béarla ar bhaile atá in ainm is a bheith sa nGaeltacht. Ní thuigim sin agus níor thuig mé riamh é.
I have little to add to the comments of my colleagues on the rail strike, except that whenever there is an operational problem in Irish Rail, the workers are always wheeled out by management. I have never seen a manager on a platform when trains are delayed or overcrowded. Usually a junior staff member is presented. I recall a very nice gentleman walking through the train one day saying, "I'm really sorry the train is overcrowded. It is not my fault. You should take it up with management who makes these decisions." One would spend a long time looking for Irish Rail management after 5 p.m. daily or on a Sunday when trains are sometimes overcrowded. I agree the industrial action is entirely wrong and I am bemused by it. I recall the Garda sought more money to use the PULSE system, which was intended to make its job easier. I am never too sure why people want more pay when they are about to be given improved equipment to do their jobs better. It is always a mystery.
However, Irish Rail management agreed drivers needed additional training over the weekend. There might be ambivalence or uncertainty about whether people are properly trained and while the action is wrong, there are issues. On Friday evening, the management conceded at the last hour that there might be a training deficit issue, which I find quite frightening. This issue is not just about one individual, as these trains are full of hundreds of people. Let them go back to work, let these issues be resolved and let the long-suffering people have access to trains that are less than 20 years old, commuters on the Cork to Dublin route having suffered for quite a while as a result of the older trains.
Ten reports on ten different accident and emergency services have been extracted from the Department of Health and Children. The reports were compiled for the Department using taxpayers' money — the Tánaiste would call it "our money", because she is a great defender of taxpayers' and Government money — but they were to be kept secret until the Freedom of Information Act was invoked by a national newspaper. Now that the reports have been published by the national newspaper, could the Leader ensure they are also placed in the Oireachtas Library so that Members are not marginalised again on a debate about information? Notwithstanding the spin in a Sunday newspaper, those reports confirm that the accident and emergency service is a mess. That is not the fault of the people working on the front line. We ought to see those reports and it is peculiar that they had to be extracted using the Freedom of Information Act.
I received a letter last week from Christian Aid about conditions in the Palestinian territories. Among the issues raised in the letter, it was pointed out that the occupying power is responsible for the well-being of the occupied people. It is a profound breach of international law for the Israeli Government to use the people of Palestine as hostages. Ten Israelis have been killed in an horrific car bombing and 20 Palestinians killed by the Israeli defence forces in the same period of time. The two to one ratio continues and I suspect that it is a deliberate ratio. For every one Israeli that is killed, two Palestinians are killed. Some people have tried to pretend that the crisis was over. I ask the Minister to come before the House and explain how the EU proposes to ensure that security and public services are sustained if it is going to ignore the government of the Palestinian territories. This is a humanitarian crisis that was not caused by an act of God, nor by a natural disaster, but by the deliberate policy of the US, Israel and the EU.
I support Senator Ryan's request for a debate on the Palestinian situation. I hope the Minister for Foreign Affairs can come in to discuss the issue as a matter of urgency. Can the Leader provide time in next week's schedule to discuss the serious drought in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia? I commend the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of State, Deputy Conor Lenihan, as well as the president of the Irish Red Cross, David Andrews, who has been visiting the affected areas. The response of the Government has been very generous and over €7 million of taxpayers' money has been earmarked for the region. We should also commend the work of the voluntary agencies and the priests and nuns who carry out dynamic work there. The Sisters of Mercy have spent 50 years in Kenya working with the poorest of the poor and we should recognise their contribution. We need the opportunity to debate this grave situation, which is affecting around 11 million people.
I compliment the producers of "Prime Time Investigates" on their programme last night, which was followed by a very comprehensive analysis on "Questions and Answers". This morning, I listened to the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Deputy Tim O'Malley, admit on my local radio station that he was embarrassed by the programme, as he should, given that he has been in office for longer than four years.
Senators on this side of the House are constantly told that 1997 was a pivotal year in political history but I remind Members on the other side that they have been in Government for the past nine years. The Tánaiste has recently admitted that an emergency exists, so the Government should get on with resolving the matter. We do not want to be described by people from outside this jurisdiction as a Third World country in respect of accident and emergency services.
Last week, I received a telephone call from a person whose 88 year old father was on a trolley in Limerick Regional Hospital for more than 24 hours. He asked me if I could do anything to help, so I visited the accident and emergency department at midnight and spoke to the person in charge, who was extremely co-operative but drew my attention to other elderly people on trolleys and said she was ashamed of what she saw. Regrettably, as there were no spare beds in the hospital, a commitment could not be made to facilitate the person's father. Meanwhile, Professor Drumm claims we need better primary care services instead of extra beds. I remind Members of the bureaucracy in the area of nursing home care and subventions. We must do away with these impediments and ensure elderly people are facilitated.
I thank the drivers and staff of Bus Éireann and other bus companies for providing at least some public transport to the south and west, which I availed of when returning from a celebration in the Mansion House on Sunday night. In this year's public capital programme, €427 million is being invested in CIE and the public wants the rolling stock at Limerick Junction, which has been travelling back and forth to Cork on trial runs, to be put into service.
Representatives of Aer Lingus unions approached me outside the Mansion House to argue strongly against any privatisation of the airline. It is difficult to sustain that sort of argument when wildcat strikes take place in other public services. Similar strikes do not occur in the private sector because they would cause the employer to close. While I hope the issue will be resolved as soon as possible, we should hold a debate on it because, as Senator O'Toole noted, the strike is entirely contrary to the spirit and letter of partnership.
I concur with Senator O'Toole that this is an unofficial strike which does not have union sanction and that unions have behaved responsibly. It is somewhat unfair to transfer by analogy events taking place within the rail services to Aer Lingus in an attempt to discredit those, such as myself, who oppose privatisation. This unofficial strike is undemocratic, inappropriate and damaging to tourism. Many of us heard the anger expressed on the radio by foreign visitors to our shores.
I commend the staff of St. Patrick's Cathedral on their humane approach to the awkward situation in which a group of about 40 Afghans have camped in the cathedral. Although I understand the reservations of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, it would be useful were he to meet them without giving any commitments. These people are in despair and have indicated they will starve themselves to death. They come from an appalling country, in which their lives are plainly at risk. Given that we are seeking favourable treatment for our own vulnerable emigrants to the United States of America, we ought to be sensitive in our treatment of these people rather than drive them into a corner. They have shown the imagination and capacity to come here in difficult circumstances. They would be an addition to this country. The Minister could, as happened in Belgium, meet these people without commitment. Belgium allowed them to stay, and that would be the decent thing to do especially in light of the appalling record of those charged by us to examine people's cases. There is at least one person who has boasted that he has never let anybody in. That is not good enough. We should investigate this.
I support the calls for a debate on the Middle East, especially Palestine. The United States and the European Union have behaved disgracefully in refusing to allow funds to go to a democratically elected government. While it may not be of the complexion we would welcome, it is elected and, as Senator Ryan said, the civilian population is being used as a lever. While we were abroad on parliamentary business last week I saw on the BBC World Service a father grieving by the bedside of his nine year old son, waiting for him to die as a result of lack of parts for a kidney dialysis machine. The doctor explained that the boy was drowning in his own waste products and would inevitably die owing to a lack of equipment that should have been supplied. The funds for such equipment are being withheld. The death of that boy, which is now taking place, is a reproach to the conscience of decent people everywhere and we should put pressure on our Government to ensure at least the basic elements of welfare for this suffering people.
Aontaím leis an méid a bhí le rá ag an Seanadóir Ryan maidir leis an chonspóid in gContae Chiarraí i dtaobh na Gaelige. Tá an Daingean in ainm is a bheith sa Ghaeltacht agus, dár ndóigh, tá buntáiste ag gabháil leis sin. Tá níos mó ná buntáiste, áfach, tá freagracht ag gabháil leis freisin, agus ní chabhraíonn an chonspóid seo le stadas na Gaeilge ná le cur chun cinn na Gaeilge.
One of the great human tragedies in the history of the State was the manner in which so many were infected with hepatitis C and HIV as a result of the use of contaminated blood and blood products. We all remember the harrowing stories of families that found themselves in this position. Although the story has left the headlines and is no longer big news, the suffering of the families continues and will continue for many years. Transfusion Positive, an action group for victims of this terrible mistake, has contacted us about an insurance scheme for the victims. This issue has been going on for a considerable time, almost nine years. Our sympathy goes to those victims because their lives will never be the same again. They found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. It behoves us to come to their aid and ensure that insurance scheme is implemented as soon as possible.
On numerous occasions in the past year I have asked the Leader to bring to the notice of the Minister for Education and Science the serious situation that has developed on an ongoing basis, and which has been repeated today, whereby the bus fleet for transporting pupils to school is unsafe. It is unbelievable that the Minister ignores the calls and concerns of many partners in education who are not politicians. They have repeatedly asked for a complete audit on all school transport vehicles, those of Bus Éireann as well as the private operators. This inspection must be independent. A disaster was narrowly avoided today when a bus caught fire in County Westmeath. We have had disaster and tragedy in Meath and Offaly in the recent past.
I am not so sure what it will take to activate the Minister to address the problems and disasters associated with school transport. It is important that there be an independent assessor for all the vehicles, once and for all.
It is clear the bus that went on fire today did not have a fire extinguisher on board. If it were not for the alertness of the pupils themselves, we would surely be talking about an even greater tragedy today. The Leader should invite the Minister to the House to indicate clearly that she will carry out, once and for all, a thorough audit of all school buses, both private and public.
Like other Senators, I condemn out of hand the wildcat strike that has taken place in the past 48 hours. My party has always said that reform should be part of the great investment in public transport, including in our railways. Only last week the interconnector for the DART in Dublin was being designed and spoken about. It is inappropriate for a strike such as this to spread across the country at a time when we are trying to improve people's confidence in public transport. There is no question but that it must be condemned. Irrespective of whether management or unions are at fault regarding the strike, safety must be paramount on our railways, especially if we are to encourage people to use public transport.
Will the Leader make time available in this or the next session for a debate on our ports? The former Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Deputy Gallagher, recently published a report by Indecon which clearly illustrated the need for further investment in port infrastructure. Now that our ports have been brought under the aegis of the Department of Transport under Transport 21, I would like a debate on this matter. The group of 100 exporters and the large companies of this country, which have been interviewed about the report, accord high priority to further investment in our ports under the next national development plan.
Bearing in mind the shortage of hospital beds reported in Ireland, my attention was drawn recently to the position on hospital beds in other countries. A friend of mine who recently went to hospital in the United States was told he should stay in the hotel beside the hospital. His operation was not very serious and he was told he could be picked up at the hotel and brought to the hospital after which he would be returned to the hotel. Something similar happened in Hume Street Hospital some years ago — Hume Street is not too far from Leinster House. The hospital reorganised and devoted half of its operation to day care because it found that a very large number of its patients did not have to stay in bed all day long or all week long.
My attention was drawn this morning to a proposal in the United Kingdom that the relatives of older people who are blocking hosptial beds, but who are not ill and refusing to move out, should be obliged to pay for their accommodation. I am not sure whether this is the right approach but we sometimes try to invent a new approach to solve our problems in Ireland when we could copy what is happening in other countries. There is a solution worth examining which would immediately remedy some of the demands in regard to our hospital beds.
I call for an urgent debate on care options for older people following the report in today's edition ofThe Irish Times that a consultant recommends that families be charged the full cost of caring for their elderly relatives in acute hospital beds in circumstances where those families have blocked their discharge from hospital. The reality is that families often cannot afford to pay for the cost of residential home care. Most people do not want to enter residential home care.
I call on the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children to spell out the correct care options that should exist for older people. Most people, only 5%, end up in residential home care. Some €1 billion is spent every year on care for the elderly. Although this is anti-ageism week, Ireland is lax in its care of older people. Most people wish to remain at home when they get sick and do not wish to enter residential care. We have poor back-up home care in this country, despite the €1 billion spent on investment in residential home care by private entrepreneurs.
I ask the Leader to invite the Minister for Transport to the House to debate the ever-increasing backlog of those awaiting driving tests. The figure in respect of each county is increasing, despite promises made by the Minister for Transport, Deputy Cullen, to slash the backlog. In the past 12 months the figure has increased by 10,000 nationally. There is a waiting list of 135,000 nationwide for the driving test. This is a damning indictment of a Minister who promised change. It is an outrageous attack on our young people, who are forced to pay high insurance premiums because of the inability to test them. Sitting the test would enable them to receive a full licence and reduce their insurance premiums. This lame duck Minister has failed to overhaul the driving test system. He has squandered taxpayers' money in every portfolio he has held. It is time he came to this House to account for his actions, waste and negligence with regard to reducing the driving test waiting list.
Like Senator Ó Murchú, I support the calls of the Irish Haemophilia Society and Transfusion Positive. They have been awaiting an insurance scheme for people infected with hepatitis C and HIV through contaminated blood and blood products for nine years. The Tánaiste promised that legislation would be introduced by April. When will such legislation be introduced?
I agree with the call for a debate on our ports, which carry the vast majority of trade and traffic of exports and imports. They are of vital importance to the country and I look forward to an early debate on this.
Last week the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform announced a staffing grant of €100,000 for a crèche centre in Templemore. This is most welcome but the problem is that the centre is not yet built. The planning process is under way at present. Now that the war chest is full and such grants will be allocated over the summer, can the Leader ensure equal treatment for the taxpayers of Ireland? A number of people have applied for grants for crèche facilities and have been ignored yet a centre that is not yet built has been awarded a staffing grant. Could the Leader arrange to explain to Members of the Opposition the criteria used in determining allocation of these grants?
That could be explained at an Adjournment debate.
This case could be explained but there are many other examples. The Progressive Democrats are as good at pulling a stroke as Fianna Fáil.
We just get the job done.
Perhaps we can get a response to ensure that all children are treated equally and that the war chest is distributed equally.
Can Senator Coonan not welcome the allocation?
I ask the Leader to investigate the delay in urgently needed home care and home help workers to take up their positions. Many people have been successful in their application for home help and have been recruited but are held up because of the backlog created by new vetting procedures that come into effect on 1 January. There is a crazy scenario where many elderly people who are urgently in need of home help and home care, but who are perhaps stuck in nursing homes in which they do not wish to be, cannot return home because of the vetting procedure. Will the Leader speak to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to see if extra resources can be given to the vetting unit which, I believe, is in Thurles to screen those applications quickly, thus avoiding problems elsewhere?
I totally disagree with Senator Norris on the Afghan asylum seekers. When people apply for asylum here, they agree to leave the country if they are unsuccessful. We cannot have a scenario where people who do not get their way write their own rules. It is a very awkward situation and I wish the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform well in his endeavours in this regard. We would want to be very careful about giving in to mob rule on this issue.
Somebody came into my office recently claiming he had fled a war torn country and came straight to Ireland. It emerged later that he had lived in England for years and had a family there. His story was completely bogus. It is important to check out these cases. If people are refused asylum on legitimate grounds, they should leave the country and we should not be bullied or forced into taking another position.
Senator Brian Hayes raised the wildcat industrial action by locomotive drivers and particularly the fact people were not informed of the action. If they had been informed, they would not have crowded into Kent Station only to be sent away. Young students in Kildare were setting off for university exams and we heard one of them on radio yesterday. One must consider the discommoding of people going about their business.
As Senator O'Toole said, these were wildcat strikes which were not legal. The talk about training is a smokescreen for looking for more money for driving new trains. In 2001, when the new trains were ordered, the drivers got a cash payment. The Labour Court expressly stated they received that payment. One cannot treat people in such an appalling way.
Senator O'Toole is right that there were five years of industrial peace because the last substantial agreement with CIE workers of all grades, but mainly with drivers, gave them decent pay which they were due because they perform a very onerous job. The drivers cannot treat the public in this way.
I fully agree with Senators O'Toole, Brian Hayes and Morrissey and others who spoke on the matter. Complete disregard was shown for people who pay fares and pay the drivers' wages. Everyone has the constitutional right to withdraw his or her labour but one must operate according to strictures and there are procedures which these drivers can work through with their unions. I was glad to hear one of the trade union representatives yesterday condemn this type of action, which Senator O'Toole mentioned.
Senator O'Toole raised the fact the people of Kerry are to hold a plebiscite on what they should call Dingle. That is a common sense approach and we are glad that will happen. The Senator will not move his Bill until he sees what happens. Senator Ryan wondered if there would be a further raft of plebiscites if other towns decide to change their names. He also said Irish Rail management was nowhere to be seen. He said there was a deficit in training but there is not. A considerable amount of training has taken place. He also asked that the ten reports on accident and emergency services be put in the Oireachtas Library. I will pass on that request.
Senator Ryan also spoke about the very graphic Christian Aid letter on the people of Palestine. He said the humanitarian crisis was not caused by God but by man. Senator Leyden called for a debate on Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia and on the valiant priests and nuns who have worked in those places for so long.
I share Senator Finucane's praise for the "Prime Time" report on accident and emergency services which I watched along with the programme after it. It was very graphic and it was sad to see, in the main, very elderly people terrified of going to a hospital. None of us would like to go to hospital but these people were terrified because they did not know how they would be treated.
Does the Leader believe the Minister should resign?
I thought "Questions & Answers" was very good and most explanatory. People were calm and gave their opinions. Slow as it is, there is a movement towards reform which, hopefully, will be allowed to proceed. If it is, we will have a better hospital service.
The Government parties have been in office for nine years.
Senator Mansergh referred to the public capital programme and the €427 million being invested in CIE in 2006. He spoke about being approached outside the Mansion House by the Aer Lingus unions but said there was no parallel between the privatisation of Aer Lingus and the wildcat strikes. Senator Norris seemed to think Senator Mansergh was comparing the two cases but he was not. He was pointing out there was no comparison between the two.
Senator Norris also referred to the Afghan asylum seekers in St. Patrick's Cathedral and the humanitarian way in which they are being treated. We are all glad to know they have been drinking water since yesterday. The Senator also spoke about Palestine.
Senator Ó Murchú referred to Dingle. He also raised the case of those infected with hepatitis C and the fact that nine years later, an insurance scheme has still not be introduced. There is some word on that issue. The hepatitis C and HIV compensation tribunal (amendment) Bill is expected to be published this session. It will provide for the establishment of an insurance scheme for infected persons. Hopefully, it will be published this session and we will be able to convey that to those who wrote to us on the matter.
Senator Ulick Burke referred to the bus fleet and said it was unsafe. I do not know the circumstances of the fire on the bus at Delvin but the Senator has called for an independent audit of all buses, including CIE buses and those which are subcontracted. There does not appear to have been a fire extinguisher on board the bus at Delvin. Senator Morrissey condemned the wildcat strikes and said safety must be paramount. He also called for a debate on ports, which are now the responsibility of the Department of Transport.
Senator Quinn referred to a friend of his in the US who went into hospital for a minor operation but who stayed in a hotel close by before and after the procedure. It is always very instructive to look at other countries and how they manage situations.
Senator White called for a debate on the elderly, care options and home care. Senator Bannon called for the Minister for Transport to come to the House to discuss driving tests. I am glad to tell him there is a move in that regard, although not realised as yet. Talks are under way to bring about an arrangement whereby driving tests will be outsourced for a short period to get a large number off the books, which is very welcome.
Senator Cummins asked about the insurance scheme for those infected with hepatitis C and HIV. As I said, that Bill is being drafted and will be introduced in this session. Senator Coonan welcomed the staffing grant for the crèche in Templemore but wanted to know why other such facilities were not getting grants. Since I am not in the inspectorate of child care facilities, I have no idea why one such facility would get a grant over another. No doubt the Senator will make much noise about that issue.
Senator Browne said we should check the bona fides of those seeking asylum. One is meant to seek asylum in the country of first origin, according to the Dublin Convention for which the former Minister of State, Deputy Burton, was responsible.
I too have come across the long period it takes to vet people taking up caring positions. In that time the position may lapse or the person may not come through the vetting procedure which gives rise to problems. I would be glad to take up this point.