Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Ceisteanna (1406)

Michael Ring

Ceist:

1406. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Health if the details of NPHET's secretariat minute-taking process will be provided, specifically the procedural steps in line with best practice in order to ensure factual accuracy and representation of discussions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14136/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The COVID-19 NPHET is supported by a dedicated Secretariat that works diligently to prepare high-quality minutes for publication as quickly as practicable.

Given the significance of NPHET meetings and the importance of its work in the context of the State’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that a full and accurate account of each NPHET meeting is maintained. NPHET agendas cover a wide range of very complex and technical public health issues and NPHET discussions are by their nature, lengthy, fast-paced, and multifaceted.

To ensure factual accuracy and representation of discussions, the NPHET Secretariat’s minute-taking process involves a number of procedural steps in line with best practice, as follows:

- Sections of the minutes are drafted by members of the Secretariat team.

- The draft minutes are reviewed internally.

- The draft minutes are circulated to the NPHET Members in advance of the NPHET meeting. Members are invited to provide their observations on same.

- Observations received from the NPHET Members are incorporated into the minutes.

- A final ‘for adoption’ version of the minutes is then circulated to the Members for their final review.

- At the NPHET meeting, the Chair invites the Members to endorse the minutes. Further observations may be received at this stage.

- Following endorsement, the minutes are published on the Department of Health website.

As illustrated above, the minute drafting process takes time and cannot be dispensed with in the interest of ensuring quality and accuracy. NPHET Members must be afforded the opportunity to correct any errors in the minutes before their adoption.

The Deputy may wish to note the NPHET minutes are published up to 18th February 2021 at the address below.

https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/691330-national-public-health-emergency-team-covid-19-coronavirus/