Thursday, 9 February 2012

Ceisteanna (179, 180)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

181 Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of agencies, authorities, boards, committees, workings groups, tribunals, council services, task forces, agencies, or other quangos set up by him since February 2011; the number abolished since then; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7531/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice and Equality)

I can inform the Deputy that in response to his question the following is the position since I took up office on 9 March 2011:

1. Expert Group on Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights was established on 17 May 2011. It was established following the European Court of Human Rights findings against Ireland in the McFarlane case.

2. ICT Governance Group — this has been been established within my own Department and is chaired at Assistant Secretary level. The body is charged with the review and oversight of ICT spending within my Department and agencies.

3. Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) was responsible for overseeing the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. It was established by an agreement between the Irish and British Governments, signed on 26 August 1997, and by legislation enacted in the two jurisdictions. It was dissolved on 31 March 2011.

4. Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) was responsible for monitoring and reporting on paramilitary activity across Ireland and also for monitoring the security normalisation measures undertaken by the British Government in the North. It was dissolved on 31 March 2011.

5. Inter-Departmental Committee to establish the facts of State involvement with the Magdalen Laundries is independently chaired by Senator Martin McAleese and was established on foot of a Government decision taken on 14 June 2011.

6. Inter-Departmental Working Group on Corporate Manslaughter was established by me last July following the decision of the previous Government in December 2010 to progress this matter.

7. National Disability Strategy Implementation Group (NDSIG) was established by Ms. Kathleen Lynch, T.D. Minister of State at my department with responsibility for disability. The Group was established the on 30 November 2011. The NDSIG is not an additional group in the sense that it has replaced and will build on the former National Disability Strategy Stakeholder Monitoring Group, which was in place under the previous Government.

8. National Steering Committee on Violence against Men which met for the first time on 14 December 2011.

9. Prisons Authority Interim Board was abolished on 26 July 2011.

10. Task Force on Cost Reductions in Criminal Legal Aid was established on 13 May 2011. It reported in October 2011.

11. Thornton Hall Review Group was established to review the need for the Thornton Hall Prison Project. It was set up in April 2011 and reported to me in July 2011.

12. Working Group on Efficiencies in the Criminal Justice System in the Circuit and District Courts was established on 16 November 2011. It was established to carry out an examination to identify any structural changes necessary to effect cost reductions in the criminal justice system.

13. Working Group on the establishment of the new, enhanced Human Rights and Equality Commission was appointed on 6 October 2011 to advise me on this extremely important matter. The Group has had a relatively short timeframe in which to complete their work as it is intended to have a new Commission in place early in the near future.

Finally, the Deputy might wish to note that new groups/committees set up since I came into office were established for very specific reasons such as dealing with complex issues that require consultation with a range of stakeholders and in which it is anticipated that the outcome will be in the public interest, achieving savings or cost reductions for my Department and agencies or responding to requirements under Ireland's international commitments in, for example, the area of human rights.

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

182 Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Defence the number of agencies, authorities, boards, committees, workings groups, tribunals, council services, task forces, agencies, or other quangos set up by him since February 2011; the number abolished since then; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7524/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The bodies under the aegis of the Department of Defence are the Civil Defence Board, the Board of Coiste an Asgard and the Army Pensions Board. The Civil Defence Board was established under the Civil Defence Act 2002. Legislation is currently being drafted to dissolve the Board and transfer its functions back into the Department of Defence.

In the context of settling the Estimates for the Department of Defence for 2010, the Government decided that the national sail training scheme operated by Coiste an Asgard would be discontinued as recommended in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure. As a result, no funding was provided in 2010 or 2011. The Board will be dissolved shortly.

No new external agencies, authorities, committees, working groups, tribunals, council services, task forces, or quangos have been established since February 2011.