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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 9 November 2021

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Ceisteanna (570)

Michael Ring

Ceist:

570. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Health if a mechanism will be put in place in order that there is early approval and publication of NPHET minutes within a week of the meeting in the interests of accountability and transparency given that the Covid-19 pandemic is evolving again; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54066/21]

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 next NPHET meeting, the Chair invites the Members to endorse/adopt the minutes. Further minor observations may be received at this stage.

- Following adoption by the NPHET Members, the minutes are published on the Department of Health website as soon as possible.

The minute drafting process, as illustrated above, is adhered to in the interest of ensuring the quality and accuracy of NPHET meeting records. NPHET Members are afforded the opportunity to correct any errors in the minutes up to their adoption.

The Deputy may wish to note the NPHET minutes are published up to 16th September 2021 at the address below. Publication of the minutes of one NPHET meeting, held on 18th October, remains outstanding. These minutes are expected to be adopted by the NPHET Members at the next NPHET meeting scheduled for week commencing 8th November, in accordance with the review and adoption procedure outlined above.

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

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