Written answers

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Department of Justice and Equality

Departmental Reform

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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263. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if he or a previous Minster for Justice and Equality required the review group of the Toland report to assume this monitoring role in view of the fact that the review group was prepared to meet twice yearly over the ensuing two years to review progress in the implementation of the 18 recommendations therein; if so, the number of times the review group met; the outcome of the meetings including written reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51927/17]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael)
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In the weeks following the Toland Review in 2014, the Department of Justice and Equality began a process of consultation and engagement to develop a Programme for Change and a delivery plan to implement the recommendations following that review.  

Since 2014, considerable progress has been achieved on the delivery of that Programme, including but not limited to, reforming the organisational culture, leadership and management of the Department. 

As part of the engagement process with key stakeholders following the Toland Report, then Minister Frances Fitzgerald hosted a round table meeting with all of the Justice and Equality organisations in November 2014 at which Kevin Toland and a number of other members of the Toland group attended.

Over the past three years progress on implementation has been monitored and reviewed regularly by my Department's Management Board and by its independent Audit Committee. The Department’s website has been regularly updated on the progress in implementation and the comprehensive report prepared for An Taoiseach has also been published on the website. Following a request a progress report was sent to the Justice Committee in December 2015 with the Committee acknowledging the “significant progress” which had been made to that point in implementing the report. Updates on progress have also been provided to this House through parliamentary questions, most recently in July of this year.

Change is a continuous process and in keeping with best international practice, earlier this year my Department contracted management consultants to do a stocktake of progress on implementation to date and assist the Department’s Management Board in prioritising further reform measures for the next three years. I envisage that this process, in which both my predecessor and I participated, will be helpful to the Change Implementation Group which will assess progress in implementing the recommendations of the Toland Report and ensure the acceleration of the outstanding issues, such as structure, effective communications and the relationship with An Garda Síochána.

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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264. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which each recommendation of the Toland report has been implemented; those that have been completed; and those not yet begun, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51928/17]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael)
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Report of the Independent Review Group (Toland Report) 2014

Status of Recommendations

1A “Programme for Change” should be supported and facilitated by management resources from other parts of the Civil Service or from outside to assist the Department to migrate to a new culture, leadership, management and operating model which delivers a high performance organisation and one which provides strategic oversight and added value to its agencies. These resources should be appointed on a temporary or time bound basis, to provide both management and change management skills. The Department will require approximately 4 - 6 management resources from other parts of the Civil Service or from outside to lead the cultural and structural changes required to transform the Department. There should be a specific programme for change with specific timelines, accountability and the following terms of reference:Programme for Change introduced.
1aSenior team start with acknowledgement of negative aspects of the present culture and come up with a straw man definition of future culture needed. Culture and Values charter developed with implementation team led by the Secretary General
1bEngage with broader organisation and key external stakeholders to get their input on future culture and the key changes and actions to make it a reality.Completed
1cStart by focusing on changing closed and secretive cultural model to being as open and inclusive as possible considering appropriate confidentiality, and define clear specific behaviours and actions that will be underpinned by new model. Culture and Values charter developed. A Change Team led by the Secretary General is supporting the embedding of the values across the Department.
1dChange insular and defensive to engaging and learning. Remove silos through the leadership model, MAC and better inclusion of agencies. A number of initiatives have been put in place to support and underpin cultural change. As identified in research, changing culture is a long term process.
1eEstablish more structured / formal engagement with agencies.Governance Frameworks / Agreements implemented and schedule of formal meetings in place
1fClarify and implement performance management.Performance agreements and Governance Frameworks / Agreements put in place with Agencies. Enhanced oversight of performance in implementing Strategic Programmes.
1gSet and share key performance objectives for the Secretary General, the Assistant Secretaries and key Agencies. Key Performance Objectives set for Agencies through Performance Agreements. Key performance objectives set for the Secretary General and Assistant Secretaries through CSMB and PMDS respectively.
1hEnsure the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretaries are all included in performance management.SG performance management implemented under the CSMB workplan. PMDS for Assistant Secretaries in place since 2015 and subject to interim and annual reviews in line with other grades.
1iRun annual staff surveys and 360 assessment surveys for the Secretary General and the Assistant Secretaries. Completed - Departmental survey held in early 2015 in line with recommendation. Subsequently aligned with Civil Service Employee Engagement Surveys introduced in 2015 and held in 2015 and 2017. 360 assessments for Secretary General and Assistant Secretaries.
2Internal event, opened by Minister and chaired by the Secretary General, to share the changes with the Assistant Secretaries, Principal Officers and Assistant Principals, Chairs and CEOS of Agencies and then cascaded face to face throughout the Department so that everyone in the Department hears the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ directly.Completed
Leadership and Structure:
3Fundamental organisational review and redesign:

The Department’s wide remit should be supported by strengthened leadership and more effective management:
Completed bar restructuring of Department
3aStart with clear definition of remit and purpose of the Department and each agency. Completed
3bRestructure the Department into clear Justice and Home Affairs portfolios and assign the redefined Divisions to align with the new structure. While a definitive division into two portfolios would require further detailed analysis, it is recommended that Justice should include civil and criminal law reform, crime and security, and international policy; Home Affairs should include policing, prisons, courts, equality and integration.Detailed analysis completed by external consultants (2017). This recommends that the Department be divided into Home Affairs and Justice and Equality portfolios, but with different constituent parts to those recommended in the Toland Report.
3cArrange for the appointment of a Deputy Secretary General to lead and take responsibility for the Home Affairs portfolio. Deputy Secretary General appointed by open competition (2016)
3dValidate strategy and resources required to implement objectives.Progress on implementation of strategy objectives monitored through the Department's Strategic Implementation Plan (2015) - "One Plan" (from 2016). Formal review monthly by the Management Board and half year progress reports published (2015).

HR Strategy and Workforce Plan developed (2017)
3eReview Workforce Plan to determine extent to which revised structure can create efficiencies, and carry out an associated skills gap analysis. The Department has developed a Workforce Plan in respect of the existing structure in accordance with DPER guidelines, following engagement with Divisions, A/Secs and Management Board (2017). Will be reviewed in the context of new Departmental structure.
3f Carry out a systems review to support new organisational model, covering in particular data management and sharing, document and correspondence tracking, file management and IT renewal. Programme of work in regard to Data and Information taken forward in conjunction with the OGCIO; Justice Hub development, eSubmissions, JARC, IT refresh, records management policy developed, correspondence tracking system implemented; new eDocs system in pipeline.
3g Secretary General to lead a change and renewal programme based on this report, public service reform across the justice sector, and the Justice portfolio, and to be the Accounting Officer for the full Department.Secretary General has led the Programme for Change. Secretary General is the Accounting Officer for the Department. A Change Team, led by the Secretary General, is working to embed the values set out in the Culture Charter across the organisation.
3hBenchmark, where possible, against best practice Departments within Ireland in regard, inter alia, to IT support systems, document management, managing agencies, etc. Department partnering with OGCIO in relation to support systems and document management. Benchmarking has not yet been progressed.
4Prepare a new management model (Minister to the Secretary General / Department to Agencies / Department): New Management Model implemented
4aThe Secretary General defines and owns a management operating protocol and routines for the Minister and the Department:
4a(i)Clarity on purpose.Yes. Defined in the Corporate Governance Framework.
4a(ii) Clarity on respective roles / decision rights / delegated authorities.Yes. Defined in the Corporate Governance Framework.
4a(iii)Clarity on priorities.Yes. Defined in the Corporate Governance Framework.
4bAgreed performance measures . One Plan plus Corporate Governance Framework. Framework of assignments under PSMB. Preliminary dashboard under development as part of Hub project.
4cClear routines and processes for monitoring, reporting, intervening, reviewing and approving.Weekly MB meetings; monthly MinMB meetings; eSubmissions system implemented; Strategic programme management reporting system in place.
4dAgreement by Minister / Secretary General / Heads of Agencies. Yes
4ePlan to ensure continuity during leadership changes.The Department has a Workforce Plan and is working with DPER and PAS in relation to a more structured approach to leadership continuity.
4fMinister sets out the programme and goals to be implemented by the Department. Minister and Secretary General to establish formal process for agreed prioritisation and shared political / management oversight of progress, performance and problems through regular Min MAC or other similar format including agreeing purpose, agenda, frequency and attendees on their appointment.

4f(i) Agenda: 1. Government priorities. 2. Strategy. 3 Key issues. 4 Department / agency performance
Agreement with Minister on PfG and other priorities. Monitored through the OnePlan. Progress reports provided for MinMB meetings. Corporate Governance Framework for the Department developed and published.
5Agencies role and relationship management: Defined through Governance Frameworks / Agreements
5aEnsure clear definition around the role of the Department and role of agencies to ensure the Department and agencies are very clear on who is responsible for what and to ensure all grey areas are clarified.Governance Frameworks / Agreements
5bDevelop criteria for what should be or should not be within the Department and its Agencies’ remit. Assess agencies against those criteria. Decide how to deal with agencies that fall outside of those criteria. The Department is not empowered to "decide how to deal with agencies that fall outside those criteria". Department continues to have agencies that are not aligned to its remit, although a number of agencies have or are in the process of being transferred to more appropriate Departments. (Charities Regulatory Authority transferred in July 2017; Taillte bodies due to transfer in January 2018)

Guidance/training for staff dealing with agencies has been developed under the Governance Framework.
5cDefined roles, relationship, key objectives and performance measurements with top 5 agencies immediately (within 6 weeks) and then with all agencies over the next 6 months. Defined through Governance Frameworks/Agreements in place with agencies.
5dProvide internal staff guidance to support consistent implementation of the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies. Governance Framework; staff participated in Governance professional certificate and other courses
5eAccelerate mergers, where appropriate, and shared administrative services for agencies / groups of agencies. Equality Authority merged with the Human Rights Commission in November 2014. Merger of Taillte bodies progressing; Enhanced provision of ICT Shared Services and extension of Financial Shared Services for agencies
6External support from within the overall governance of the civil service system and the Senior Public Service, to ensure that the Secretary General leadership pool is developed, skill and performance reviewed and managed in both preparation for role, as well as independent review of both overall Department performance and personal performance through a robust performance management system. Civil Service Management Board; Secretary General performance review through CSMB
7Define new role / fit for purpose MAC including, at appropriate intervals, key agencies: Management Board with extended membership established in 2015
7aStrategic. MB meetings specifically on strategy. Criminal Justice Strategic Committee. Horizon Groups.
7bLine of sight on major live issues and review of early warning on emerging issues. Early warning system in place
7cFact driven. Yes
7dCore monthly meeting focused on strategy / performance / key issues / cross department and agency priorities to include Secretary General, MAC and special advisors. In addition:Minister/MB monthly meetings; weekly MB meetings.
7d(i)Deep dive into c. 3 divisions / agencies per month so that each is subject to annual review. Periodic deep dives undertaken by MB
7eWeekly issues meeting (of shorter duration) of core MAC members to:Yes. This is a standing agenda item for MB and Minister/MB meetings
7e(i)Discuss and update on current and emerging issues. Standing agenda item
8An Garda Síochána relationship management:
8aAgree the following areas for significant improvements regarding relationship with An Garda Síochána and take action to address them:The independent Policing Authority has been established to oversee AGS performance; Department and Policing Authority agreements; Governance agreement supported by formal meetings at various levels; Communications Protocol governing communications between the Department and An Garda Síochána close to finalisation; Department's Culture and Values Charter; Garda reform programmes including significant cultural reform; Garda Culture audit.
8a(i)Ineffective Departmental oversight of, and confused, passive and disaggregated Departmental relationships with, An Garda Síochána.See above
8a(ii)Maintenance of formal and informal relationships.See above
8a(iii)Shared culture of secrecy.Culture and Values Charter; Garda reform programmes
8bDefine as a Department and then with An Garda Síochána how to resolve those issues.The independent Policing Authority has been established to oversee AGS performance; Department and Policing Authority agreements; Governance agreement supported by formal meetings at various levels; Communications Protocol governing communications between the Department and An Garda Síochána close to finalisation; Department's Culture and Values Charter; Garda reform programmes including significant cultural reform; Garda Culture audit.
8cThe Minister, through the Department, needs to hold An Garda Síochána accountable as a critical and resource intensive public service, while respecting their operational independence, by a combination of dealing with the relationship issues, establishing and managing key priorities and ensuring they are delivered on. Establishment of Policing Authority. Strengthening of GSOC and Garda Inspectorate powers.Policing Authority established. Powers of GSOC and Garda Inspectorate strengthened.
8dThe Garda Inspectorate is a tool for the Minister and the Department, which should be used better and more extensively, and the Garda Inspectorate should be valued by An Garda Síochána management. The reporting relationship with the Garda Inspectorate should be separated from the Garda Division to underpin its independence. The Commission on the Future of Policing is looking at the totality of oversight arrangements in policing. The Department considers that policy issues arising from or in respect of the Garda Inspectorate and GSOC could report to the Policing Authority. However the Policing Authority does not deal with complaints against individual members.
8eIn acknowledging its role in the interest of the public good, the reporting relationship with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, as a minimum, should also be separated from the Garda Division to underpin its independence. The Review Group suggests that the proposed Garda Authority could fulfil that function. See above
8fThe Review Group recommends that in future the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission could benefit by having available in its leadership, a lawyer or Judge with prosecutorial experience.A High Court Judge was appointed Chairperson of GSOC
8gThe Secretary General should take a leadership role in defining how issues should be dealt with by the new Garda Authority, to ensure that this leads to better and not worse clarity and accountability.Policing Authority providing public oversight of policing services in Ireland; Tripartite governance meeting chaired by the Secretary General (Department, Policing Authority and An Garda Síochána).
8hRecognising that some legislative amendments are in preparation, conduct a comprehensive assessment of the implementation of 2005 Garda Síochána Act to determine if legislation is required to strengthen oversight bodies and ensure their independence. Policing Authority established and powers of GSOC and the Garda Inspectorate enhanced.

Government decision in 2017 to further increase powers.

A paper reviewing how the principles of police oversight have been implemented in the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Garda Síochána (Policing and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 is being considered.
9Establish a corporate secretariat office, resourced with strategy and planning expertise that reports directly to the Secretary General and deals with:Corporate Secretariat office established in 2014
9aInterfacing with the Minister.The Corporate Secretariat provides service to and works closely with the Minister, the Secretary General and the MB. It coordinates provision of documentation including briefs, reports and submissions.
9bCoordinating briefs and drafting speeches for the Minister.See above
9cEnsuring all relevant documentation is given to the Minister in a timely manner. See above
9c(i)Providing support to the MAC in terms of strategy and planning: Assisting the MAC, in ensuring the Department Strategy is developed and implemented.Support is being provided by the Reform and Development Unit; the establishment of a dedicated strategy unit is also recommended.
9c(ii)Appropriate priorities, resource plans and implementation milestones in place both with agencies, within the Department and at overall Department level:Yes – Performance Agreements in place.
9c(ii)(1)Ensure review mechanisms are functioning - Oversee the implementation of a strategy performance management plan which should assign accountability for initiatives and develop milestones and metrics which make tracking their progress more transparent (half-yearly reviews chaired by the Secretary General and attended by MAC).OnePlan Strategic programme management and reporting system developed and implemented
9c(ii)(2)Enable the Secretary General to make sure the strategic agenda is properly defined and managed within the Department and with agencies. Yes
9c(iii)Assisting the Secretary General / MAC in taking lead on identifying, resourcing and managing key strategic issues to make sure the external, long term view is developed and used. Yes. Horizon Groups established to take a longer term view
9c(iv)Supporting the MAC capacity to scan both the internal and external landscape, and key and emerging issues, to make sure broader consequences and bigger picture factors are fully taken into consideration:Standing agenda item at weekly meetings
9c(iv)(1)For example Planning / Strategy unit would assist the MAC to make sure the Department is adaptable and flexible in its structures, operations and approach, and assist MAC in ensuring that the Department is managing and adding the maximum value to any agencies within it.Ongoing process with further steps required as part of process of restructuring
10Develop a HR function with the appropriate HR functional skills, that is capable of providing both thought leadership and support to enable the Department transformation:Yes. Head of Strategic HR appointed. Strategic Business Partner model implemented.
10a This will involve the development of a new Human Resource Action Plan.Completed - HR Strategy and Workforce plan.
10bThis plan should detail how the Department in its recruitment, training, retention and succession planning will ensure that its staff have the ability and capacity to deal with the new leadership, management and oversight challenges in the transformed Department. Yes
10cSenior staff being appointed to any additional agencies being established by the Department should be recruited by open competition by the Public Appointments Service. Yes
10dAn impact analysis should be completed on the effect that a new agency will have on the existing role and staffing of the function within the Department. This should be part of the Business Case for any resource implications of a new agency.Impact analysis is built into all proposals that involve creating a new body and formed part of the business case for resourcing of the Insolvency Service of Ireland and the Charities Regulatory Authority
11Department reorganisation to address structural issues in communications / press office including: Head of Communications appointed and communications unit established
11aReporting directly to the Secretary General and with an upgrade in the skills and expertise of the team to ensure it meets the Department needs. Yes
11bEstablishing clear policy with political side / agencies / internal. Yes
11cEngaging with the media. Yes
11dAgreeing with Minister and Secretary General who does what, and working in close collaboration with and having direct access to the Minister.Yes
11eDevising and implementing new procedures for dealing with complaints / PQs / Communication issues (with a goal to make sure that senior personnel are not consumed with routine issues at the expense of their management functions).A new Communications Strategy was published in 2016 and is monitored on an ongoing basis.

A new Customer Charter was also published in 2016.

Given the sensitivity of many PQs, involvement of senior personnel cannot be substantially lessened.
Audit and Risk Management:
12The internal auditor should report directly to the Audit Committee with the Chair of the Committee having a reporting line to the Secretary General and, where appropriate, to the MAC.This was already the case.
13Appoint a minimum of two or three non-public service audit committee members with the right financial, risk and management expertise.Yes. External membership increased.
14Ensure the risk register is provided to, and reviewed quarterly with, the Minister and MAC and assessed against performance, Departmental and agencies issues and internal audit reports so that risk management meets its purpose.Yes
Corporate Functions and IT Systems:
15Need to resource and accelerate implementation of the Department’s Blueprint for Communications, Information, Records and Data in the Justice and Equality Sector.Yes. Three pathfinder projects were implemented - eSubmissions, eJARC and Our Sources. These are now live. Justice and Equality Hub in development.
16Better use of technology and data management systems. Modernise and streamline systems, and stop duplication and unnecessary work, including duplication of electronic and paper files.eSubmissions has been rolled out and was the first project on the Government cloud. A Justice Hub is under development to provide access by sectoral organisations to shared Team Rooms, access to new Portal etc., with potential for interoperability in the Criminal Justice and INIS areas.
17Need for integrated systems that provide accurate and timely information.See above

Need to identify what national and international benchmarks, including in EU member states, should be adopted by the Department in order to implement relevant metrics and benchmarks:Horizon Group has examined benchmarks and reported to the MB in 2017.

Given the diversity of justice and legal systems internationally, no readily available benchmarks were identified.

An IGEES (economic evaluation)Unit has been established within the Department and is working

to develop an appropriate set of metrics.
18aIn terms of best practice within Ireland, the Review Group recognises that the Department is leading a public service reform programme in the justice sector, which can be benchmarked against similar programmes in the civil service, local government, education and health sectors.Programme for change closely aligned with Civil Service Renewal objectives.

Benchmarking not completed.

18bThe Review Group believes that Ireland can learn from the structure of the Australian model. While there is only one Secretary who reports to the Attorney General and Justice Minister, there are three strong Deputy Secretaries who are responsible for the clearly defined sub-groups:

i. Civil Justice and Legal Services;

ii. Strategic Policy and Coordination;

iii. National Security and Criminal Justice.
Relates to restructuring of Department - see 3b


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