Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Department of Health
475. To ask the Minister for Health the reason a response has not issued from the HSE to Parliamentary Question No. 1241 of 8 September 2020; the protocols in place between his Department and the HSE to ensure timely replies to parliamentary questions referred to the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29795/20]
Under Standing Order 42A, a question may be referred to a body and the referred body has ten working days to provide a response to the Deputy.
The HSE has been experiencing large volumes of Parliamentary Questions and Representations, particularly in relation to testing and tracing. Up to 6 October 3,469 PQs have ben referred for direct reply. I have been advised that the HSE is currently answering 82% of all PQs within the 10 working day deadline. Some PQs are complex and take additional time to gather and collate the information requested which may not be routinely available. In addition, I am advised that the HSE has received (to 6 October) 3,481 Representations directly through its Parliamentary Affairs Division. The HSE advise thay currently 82% of all Reps are being answered before/within deadlines. My Department and the HSE are committed to answer all questions in a timely manner. Officials in the Parliamentary Support Unit in my Department hold regular meetings with their counterparts in the HSE to discuss the management of parliamentary obligations.