Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Ceisteanna (304)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

304. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of requests for additional funding, staff resources or expertise that have been made by the Office of the Ombudsman for Children since January 2016; the purpose of the requested additional, funding staff resources or expertise; the response of her Department to each request in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13147/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Firstly, I would like to say that I am fully supportive of the work of the Ombudsman for Children, Dr. Niall Muldoon and the staff of his Office. The Office is not only a mechanism of redress but has a significant role to play as an independent national monitor in the area of children's rights.

In July 2016, the Ombudsman for Children submitted a business case to this Department proposing a significant expansion of his staffing resources. At my first meeting with Dr. Muldoon I indicated my support for his proposal and that it would be done on a suitably phased basis.

The allocation for the Ombudsman for Children's Office was increased from €2.154m in 2016 to €2.360m in 2017. I am pleased that in 2018 I secured an allocation of €2.733m for the Office. My Department's External HR Unit is working with the Ombudsman for Children's Office to obtain the necessary approvals to proceed with the required recruitment, and other temporary requested measures, as outlined in the following tables:

Year

Approval sought from Department for the following posts

Date received in Department

All posts sanctioned

Date of Sanction

2016

3 posts - 1 Office Manager (HEO replacement post)- 1xDigital Media Officer (EO)- Temp replacement for maternity cover

14.9.2016 14.9.2016 13.9.2016

3 posts

15.9.2016 14.9.2016 14.9.2016

2017

6 posts -Head of Education and Participation (AP)- Investigator (AP)- 2 x Education and Participation Officers (2xEO)- 2 x Early Resolution Officers (2 x EO) 2 temporary posts to cover maternity leave:- Communications Manager (AP)- Investigator (AP)

21.9.2017 13.11.2017

6 posts 2 temporary posts

28.9.2017 14.11.2017

2018

3 temporary posts to cover maternity - Participation, Rights and Education Officer (EO)- Human Rights & Policy Officer (AO)- Corporate Services Officer (EO)

5.3.2018

3 temporary posts

9.3.2018

Year

Funding Allocation

Expenditure

2016

€2.154m

€1.8m (underspend of €0.354m)

2017

€2.36m

€2.150m (underspend of €0.2m)

2018

€2.733m