The request for sanction from the Department of Justice and Equality on this matter estimated total expenditure of €22,000 on fees for the independent panel. This is based on a payment structure which sets a fee per case depending on the level of complexity and takes into account the current level of protected disclosures on hand. The fees range from €300 to €1,000 per case. However, the maximum amount payable to counsel is €1,000 per case.
Overall, the Department of Justice and Equality estimates that maximum annual costs would fall to €5,000 - €6,000 in future years. It is a matter for the Department of Justice and Equality to fund panel fees as well as any other administrative supports within existing resources.
Finally, as regards the establishment of the independent panel, I gather the motivation of the Minister for Justice and Equality was to ensure disclosures can be dealt with in a proper, fair, professional and independent manner.