Gender Recognition

Ceisteanna (91)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

91. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach if his Department has prepared written guidelines for staff and the public for dealing with transgender matters; if they are published; if staff have received training in respect of this; and if his Department is participating in or making a submission regarding the review being undertaken in respect of the operation of the Gender Recognition Act 2015. [7576/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The delivery of effective, quality customer service is a priority for my Department and forms an integral part of my Department's Strategy Statement, Corporate Governance Framework and the business plans of individual Divisions within the Department. While my Department is primarily engaged in policy development and does not have the same level of contact with citizens as other Departments, staff in the Department of the Taoiseach endeavour to provide a high level of service to all citizens who they interact with.

My Department is also committed to protecting dignity and respect of all its employees and to maintaining a positive working environment. As part of my Department’s induction process, all employees are asked to read ‘Dignity at Work - An anti bullying, harassment and sexual harassment policy for the Irish Civil Service’. This document was developed in partnership between the Civil Service management and the staff panel of unions. The key aims of this policy are to achieve a work environment where dignity and respect are to the forefront of our values and to ensure that each individual is aware of his/her responsibility to behave in a way that reflects a culture of dignity and respect. Training on unconscious bias is also provided for staff in my Department.

While my Department has not prepared written guidelines for staff and the public in dealing specifically with transgender matters, my Department's policies on customer service and dignity at work are designed to ensure that customers and employees of the Department are treated at all times with dignity and respect.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is leading on the review of the Gender Recognition Act and has appointed a Review Group comprising stakeholder groups and relevant departments. While my Department is not directly involved at this stage of the process, it will support the cross-departmental work through the Cabinet Committee structure as required.

Data Protection

Ceisteanna (92)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

92. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach the preparedness of his Department in the context of the incoming general data protection regulation, GDPR, EU 2016/679; and if staff in his Department have undertaken or been offered specific training and-or briefing in respect of the GDPR. [7653/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

My Department is working to ensure it is well prepared for the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May. A Data Protection Officer (DPO) has been appointed and Divisions throughout the Department are currently reviewing what personal data is received and how it is managed and stored by the Department. We are also seeking to identify any gaps in the management of data and consider any improvements in order to reduce the risk of a possible data breach.

A number of staff including the DPO, have already attended training sessions on the GDPR, which have also covered the new provisions for timely responses to Special Access Requests (SARs) received in the Department. In addition, the Department has held a number of briefing sessions on the GDPR for staff in key areas (e.g. Human Resources, Finance and IT). We propose to extend training to more staff as the year progresses.

Gender Recognition

Ceisteanna (93)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

93. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his Department has prepared written guidelines for staff and the public for dealing with transgender matters; if they are published; if staff have received training in respect of this; if his Department is participating in or making a submission regarding the review being undertaken in respect of the operation of the Gender Recognition Act 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7566/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

A Civil Service wide Dignity at Work policy was developed in 2015 in partnership between Civil Service management and staff unions throughout the Equality Sub Committee of General Council. This policy aims to promote respect, dignity, safety and equality in the workplace and advises that every member of staff has a duty to behave in an acceptable and respectful manner. The policy was rolled out to all Department of Defence staff in 2015.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, which has responsibility for Civil Service Human Resources policy, has not issued guidelines in relation to transgender matters and my Department does not have a stand-alone policy in this area.

Data Protection

Ceisteanna (94)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

94. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the preparedness of his Department in the context of the incoming general data protection regulation, GDPR, EU 2016/679; if staff in his Department have undertaken or been offered specific training and-or briefing in respect of the GDPR; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7643/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The Department of Defence has begun preparations to ensure compliance and accountability with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  As part of these preparations a Data Protection Officer has been appointed and a Working Group with representatives across all branches of the Department has been established.  The Working Group is overseen by a newly established Data Protection Steering Committee.  The Department is currently engaged in a data mapping exercise and a review of data protection policies.  A number of staff have undertaken GDPR training to date and further GDPR training will be rolled out across the Department between late February and April 2018.

Defence Forces Data

Ceisteanna (95)

Eamon Ryan

Ceist:

95. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of soldiers billeted by the Army; the locations of same; and his views on same. [7793/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The number of bed places currently available for use by military personnel at each of the permanently occupied military locations is shown in the table. This accommodation is generally referred to as Single Living In accommodation and the overall provision of such accommodation is based on military operational requirements. The number of personnel actually billeted at any one time varies according to such operational requirements.

Location

Total Number Of Beds Available For Use

1st Brigade

Collins Bks, Cork

227

Dún UiMhaoilíosa Bks, Galway

184

Sarsfield Bks, Limerick

133

Stephens Bks, Kilkenny

133

2nd Brigade

Aiken Bks, Dundalk

180

Cathal Brugha Bks, Dublin

356

Custume Bks, Athlone

234

Finner Camp, Donegal

190

Gormanston Camp, Meath

134

McKee Bks, Dublin

249

St Bricin’s Hospital, Dublin

12

Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel

201

DFTC, Curragh Camp

970

Naval Base, Haulbowline, Cork

222

Total

3,425

Passport Applications

Ceisteanna (96)

Mary Butler

Ceist:

96. Deputy Mary Butler asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of a passport application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7559/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

All passport applications are subject to the terms of the Passports Act, 2008 (“the Act”), which provides the legal basis for the policies and practices that are applied by the Passport Service.

Section 7 of the Act requires that the Minister be satisfied as to an individual’s identity before issuing an Irish passport to that person and authorises the Minister to request such information and documentary evidence as may be required to establish and verify an applicant’s identity. Appropriate photographic identification is one of the requirements in cases in which a person seeks to replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport. This and other requirements are necessary to protect the integrity of the Irish passport and protect against fraud and identity theft.

The Passport Service has confirmed that a passport application from the person in question has been received, requesting issue of a new passport to replace a lost passport. The applicant seeks issue of this passport in a new name, which differs both from the applicant’s birth name and also from the name in which the applicant was last issued with a passport. The Passport Service has advised the applicant of the documentation required to allow the matter to be considered. To date, the applicant has not supplied the required documentation.

Gender Recognition

Ceisteanna (97)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

97. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his Department has prepared written guidelines for staff and the public for dealing with transgender matters; if they are published; if staff have received training in respect of this; if his Department is participating in or making a submission regarding the review being undertaken in respect of the operation of the Gender Recognition Act 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7570/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

My Department performs a wide range of functions in serving Irish citizens, both at home and abroad. These include front-line consular and passport services to citizens and communities.

In relation to transgender, Section 11 of the Passports Act 2008, as amended, provides for the issuing of a passport in a new gender and, if applicable, in a new name to applicants producing a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) provided by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The Passport Service provides training to staff on these sensitive cases and has written guidelines for processing applications. Information on the documents required for a passport in a new gender are available on the Passport Service website at www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/top-passport-questions/documentary-requirements-passport-applications. My Department also works closely with the Transgender Equality Network Ireland, including to ensure that clarifications on any passport-related matter are provided promptly.

Following the enactment of the Gender Recognition of Foreign Births Regulations in December 2017, the Global Irish Services Division of my Department launched the Register of Gender Recognition of Foreign Births. The introduction of the Register allows Irish citizens who have obtained citizenship through Foreign Births Registration to be recorded under their preferred gender and name. As part of that initiative, staff working in the Foreign Births Registration Unit of the Department were briefed on the new Regulations, as well as on transgender issues more widely.

Separately, my Department is participating in the ongoing review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015.

Within my Department, a Sub-Committee of the Management Board on Gender Equality, Equality and Diversity was established in 2016 to support an inclusive and diverse working environment. The Committee is chaired by two members of the Management Board. The initiative works to foster a culture of respect and equality to benefit the Department, its staff and ultimately the citizens that we serve. The focus of the Sub-Committee is the Department’s treatment of the grounds for discrimination in employment equality law. Significant progress has been made on a number of Departmental initiatives to address barriers to equality in our work place and in service provision.

The Sub-Committee, in cooperation with the Human Resources Unit and other sections, runs regular events to celebrate and support equality and diversity at home and through our Mission network overseas.

Data Protection

Ceisteanna (98)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

98. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the preparedness of his Department in the context of the incoming general data protection regulation, GDPR, EU 2016/679; if staff in his Department have undertaken or been offered specific training and-or briefing in respect of the GDPR; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7647/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

My Department commenced preparations for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in mid-2016, with the appointment of a Data Protection Officer, who holds a professional qualification in data protection. The Data Protection Officer has overseen and delivered a suite of data protection training across the Department, both at home and abroad.

At Headquarters, data protection training and GDPR information sessions were incorporated into the pre-posting training given to staff going on overseas assignments in 2017. In addition, the Data Protection Officer has provided in-depth GDPR-specific training to all staff who work in the Department’s Human Resources team in Dublin and Limerick.

My Department’s Global Irish Services (GIS) Division, which includes the Passport Service and Consular Services, holds a very significant bank of personal data. With oversight and guidance provided by the Data Protection Officer, the GIS Division established a working group in 2017 to oversee its preparations for GDPR. This includes the development of function-specific training and the development of the required compliance documentation. This work is at an advanced stage and training has commenced for staff in the Passport Service, including all temporary staff who are to be assigned during 2018.

Briefing on the implications of GDPR has been provided to a number of senior management groups within my Department and further training and ICT support tools will be rolled out in the coming weeks. “Data champions” will shortly be appointed for each Division, to be responsible for overseeing compliance with data protection requirements and for co-ordinating the completion and maintenance of the required documentation.

My Department has staff serving in over eighty locations overseas and training on data protection and the implications of the GDPR for these staff commenced on a regional basis in mid-2017. The four regions covered were Central Europe, South Eastern Europe, the Americas and Asia. Further training is envisaged this year in Africa, the Northern Baltic region and Latin America.