Below are questions asked in the Oireachtas, relating to Caranua and other areas relevant to survivors
Progress of the Review into the operations of Caranua
Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the progress of the review into the operations of Caranua.
Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): I can confirm to the Deputy that I have recently approved the terms of reference for the review of eligibility for services which are supported by Caranua. The draft terms of reference will be published shortly and the views of interested parties sought. Once the terms are finalised, it would be my intention to proceed quickly thereafter to select suitably qualified persons, through an appropriate procurement process, to undertake the review.
Monitoring the operations of Caranua
Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills the role his Department plays in monitoring the operations of Caranua; and if he satisfied himself that the organisation is meeting its objective.
Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Richard Bruton): As the Deputy is aware, Caranua is an independent statutory body established under the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012. That legislation sets out the respective responsibilities of the Board and executive of Caranua and of the Minister for Education and Skills. In summary, the key statutory responsibilities assigned to me, as Minister for Education and Skills, under the 2012 Act, that are directly relevant to Caranua are:
– the approval of contracts and consultancies (section 7(7));
– approving additional classes of services (section 8);
– the appointment of Board members (section 11);
– approving the appointment of a Chief Executive (section 13);
– approving the number of staff, their terms and conditions and remuneration, etc. (all with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform) (section 17);
– the receipt of annual reports and laying them before the Houses of the Oireachtas (section 19);
– matters relating to the independent appeals officer (sections 21 and 22); and
– the receipt of annual accounts and laying them before the Houses of the Oireachtas (section 31).
I am satisfied that the arrangements that are in place for the monitoring and oversight of Caranua by my Department are appropriate and operate effectively while respecting the statutory independence of that organisation and complying with the provisions of the 2012 Act and other requirements including the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies.
The Deputy will wish to be aware that up to the end of December 2016 Caranua had received over 5,600 applications and had spent over €56 million on supports to or on behalf of almost 4,200 applicants. Thus a significant level of funding has been provided to a large number of former residents, a fact which is to be particularly welcomed. I believe that the lives of many former residents will have been improved as a result of this support.