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Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions

Direct Provision: Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality

4:00 pm

Photo of Trevor Ó ClochartaighTrevor Ó Clochartaigh (Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

This is very relevant and it goes back to where the debate started, with the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman for Children and discussions of oversight. There has been much discussion about the working group and proposals. Everybody agrees there will be some form of change and a different system but currently we have a particular system and the transition will take a while. Both of the ombudsmen are clear that they want oversight of the current system. All the people we spoke to in the system have said exactly the same to us and it is within the remit of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, who is directly responsible to this committee. Does the Minister of State agree there is absolutely no reason the ombudsman legislation could not be amended and extended to allow this remit? That would allow a free, independent and impartial complaints system for those people who will be in the system today and tomorrow. The ombudsmen want it now and it is important that we do it.

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