The Justice and Equality Vote Group includes the Department of Justice and Equality, An Garda Síochána, the Prison Service, the Courts Service, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Policing Authority. Vote 25 relates to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC).
As the Deputy is aware, IHREC is an independent statutory body, established under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act, 2014. The Act provides that the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be independent in the performance of its functions. Furthermore, the Director of the IHREC is the Accounting Officer for Vote 25 and not the Secretary General of my Department.
In accordance with my responsibility to the Oireachtas to report on the use of funds which IHREC receives, my officials contacted IHREC in relation to the Deputy's question. IHREC has indicated that an estimated €50,000 is budgeted for office refurbishment works to accommodate new staff and to improve their library facility and an additional €50,000 is earmarked for office equipment costs. These works are to be commenced and completed in 2019.