I propose to take Questions Nos.138 to 140, inclusive, together.
Section 21 of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 provides for the appointment by the Minister for Education and Skills of one or more than one person to act as an independent appeals officer to consider appeals against decisions of Caranua. Mr. Patrick Whelan was appointed as appeals officer in February 2014 and served in that role for a period of some three years. In May 2017, I appointed Ms Geraldine Gleeson and Mr. Brendan O’Leary to serve as appeals officers for a one year period. In May 2018, I offered a further period of appointment as an appeals officers to both Mr. O’Leary and Ms Gleeson. Ms Gleeson advised that she was not in a position to continue in this role and I acknowledged this decision on 5th July 2018.
The question of appointing a second appeals officer will be kept under review having regard to the level of appeals on hands.
The annual report of the Caranua appeals officers, covering the period May 2017 to April 2018, has recently been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas in fulfilment of the statutory requirement.
It is a matter for Caranua to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to make funding provision for any contingent liabilities that might arise from legal actions or for other reasons.