Written answers

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Department of Health

Value for Money Reviews

9:00 pm

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Question 596: To ask the Minister for Health the name and role of each member of the steering group for the Review of Efficiency and Effectiveness of Disability Services in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9305/12]

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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The Value for Money and Policy Review (VFM&PR) of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Disability Services in Ireland is being undertaken in the context of the Government’s Value for Money & Policy Review Initiative 2009-2011 and is due to be completed in the first half of 2012. The review, which encompasses statutory and non-statutory service providers, is assessing how well current services for people with disabilities are meeting their objectives and how the future planning and development of services should be supported and delivered.

A Steering Group has been established to oversee the VFM&PR. The Steering Group is chaired by an independent chairperson, Mr. Laurence Crowley, and has two other independent members, as well as members drawn from the Disability Sector, Department of Health, the Department of Finance, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the HSE. Members of the group were appointed in line with the Department of Finance Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative 2009-2011 guidelines. The role of the steering group is set out in the Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative Guidance Manual produced by the Department of Finance as the following

Departments/Offices should appoint individual Steering Committees for each of their reviews. The Steering Committees should be seen clearly to act independently and to exercise direct, hands-on responsibility for the conduct of reviews. They should include personnel from outside the line divisions that operate the programmes/areas being reviewed and, insofar as possible, from other relevant Government Departments/Offices or bodies. This is desirable to maintain objectivity and to contribute to the overall robustness of the review.

The Steering Committee is responsible for agreeing the terms of reference, planning and conducting the review, agreeing methodology and performance indicators, writing the report, and advising the Management Advisory Committee of progress and of any difficulties arising.

The Members of the Steering Group are:

Membership of the Steering Group
Laurence CrowleyChairperson
Gerard FloodExternal Member
James O’DwyerExternal Member
Bairbre Nic Aongusa, Assistant Secretary, Department of Health (DOH)
Tracey Conroy, Principal Officer, Performance Evaluation Unit, DoH (Substitute for Jim Breslin, who resigned mid 2011)
Brendan Broderick, Chief Executive Officer, Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary Services
John Dolan, Chief Executive Officer, Disability Federation of Ireland
Colm Desmond, Principal Officer, Office for Disability & Mental Health, DoH (Replaced Dermot Ryan, November 2009)Lead Reviewer & Project Team Lead
James O’Grady, Policy Advisor, Office for Disability & Mental Health, DoHC. (Resigned end 2010)Lead on Policy Review
Tom Heffernan, Principal Officer, Sectoral Policy Unit, Department of Finance (Replaced Patricia Purtill mid 2010)
Dr. Cate Hartigan, Assistant National Director, Disability Services, HSE (Replaced Ger Crowley HSE, February 2012)
Yvonne O’Neill, Assistant National Director, HSE VFM Directorate
Eoin Dormer, Evaluator,Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (replaced Cormac Gilhooley February 2010)
Malachy Corcoran, Higher Executive Officer, Office for Disability & Mental HealthSecretary

The Terms of Reference for the review are as follows:

1. Identify the objectives, which have pertained to date, for the disability services programme in the health sector.

2. Examine the current validity of those objectives and their compatibility with the overall strategy of the Department of Health, the National Disability Strategy and Towards 2016.

3. Define the outputs associated with the programme activity and identify the level and trend of those outputs.

4. Identify any issues with the availability of information regarding current outputs and outcomes.

5. Examine the extent to which the programme’s objectives have been achieved, and comment on the effectiveness with which they have been achieved.

6. Identify the level and trend of costs and staffing resources associated with the disability services and thus comment on the efficiency with which it has achieved its objectives. Compare overall costs, including wage costs and non-pay costs, across the sector [both statutory and non-statutory].

7. Having regard to the range of providers of disability services, examine whether there is scope to minimise overheads, including administrative costs, management structures, research, advertising, profile-building, and infrastructure costs.

8. Evaluate the degree to which the objectives warrant the allocation of public funding on a current and ongoing basis and examine the scope for alternative policy or organisational approaches to achieving these objectives on a more efficient and/or effective basis.

9. Specify potential future performance indicators that might be used to better monitor the performance of the disability services programme.

10. A final robust report containing findings and recommendations in relation to TORs 1 to 9 above.

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