Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (696)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

696. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the number of protected disclosures made to her in relation to the Irish Prison Service in 2019 and to date in 2020; and the third parties she has appointed to investigate same. [26384/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 came into operation on 15 July 2014 and my Department has a comprehensive Protected Disclosure Policy in place. The Policy was reviewed during 2019 and a revised Policy is due to be published in 2020. The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 provides protections for workers in both the public and private sectors against penalisation by their employers in circumstances where they have raised concerns about potential wrongdoing. 

With regard to the Deputy’s question about the number of protected disclosures being processed by my Department from employees of the Prison Service, it is important to note that the Irish Prison Service, as an executive function of my Department, has its own Protected Disclosures Policy in place and publishes an annual report separately on disclosures received in line with the requirements of the Act. The Protected Disclosures Policy document of Irish Prison Service is available on the website: www.irishprisons.ie.  People working in the Irish Prison Service may make a protected disclosure to the Irish Prison Service directly, as well as to my Department. 

The table below sets out the number of Protected Disclosures made to my Department in relation to the Irish Prison Service in 2019 and to-date in 2020. For the sake of completeness, I have also sought information regarding the number of protected disclosures made to the Irish Prison Service during the requested timeframe, and this is also provided in the table below. 

 

Made to the Department of Justice and Equality 

Made to the Irish Prison Service 

Number of Protected Disclosures relating to the Irish Prison Service 2019  

5

8

Number of Protected Disclosures relating to the Irish Prison Service 2020 (to-date) 

12

8

With regard to the Deputy’s request for information regarding the third parties appointed to investigate same, under the relevant Office of Government Procurement Frameworks, these are:

- Raiseaconcern.com

- Mazars

- RSM Ireland

- Grant Thornton