Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Ceisteanna (596)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

596. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the backlog that exists in processing applications for PPS numbers; the impact it is having on employers seeking to recruit critical skills shortages particularly in the building trades; the way in which she plans to address the problem; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50302/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Applications for Personal Public Service Numbers (PPS Numbers) are processed in a network of offices of my Department across the State. Customers can make appointments through an online appointments system through the mywelfare.ie facility and many offices also offer a walk-in service. Demand varies across various geographical locations for reasons such as population, demographics and variations in the levels of economic activity.

I am advised that some offices are currently experiencing higher than normal demand for online appointments. These locations are located in large urban centres of Dublin (D’Olier Street and Kings Inn) and Cork.

This reflects an increase in the number of people applying for a PPS Number.

It is the case that in some instances, a person attending an appointment may not bring all of the required supporting documentation with them and has to attend a second appointment to complete the application process.

My Department has taken steps to address this issue, including the assignment of overtime resources to the processing of applications and to making additional appointments available. My Department is also working directly with a number of employers on this matter, and will take appropriate further remedial action as required to ensure best possible customer service in this area.

Should any particular employer or industry sector encounter particular difficulties in this area, my Department stands ready to work with them to ensure this vital service is made available to them.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.