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Parliamentary Questions 9th October 2018

Catherine Connolly  – To ask the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 423 of 20 June 2017 and 33 of 6 December 2017, the allocation of appeals officers at Caranua; the number of appeals officers working at Caranua; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41184/18]

Catherine Connolly – To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to establish a contingency fund in the event that Caranua application decisions are delayed by having to take the case to court or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41185/18]

Richard Bruton – Minister for Education and Skills – I propose to take Questions Nos.138 to 140, inclusive, together.

Section 21 of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 provides for the appointment by the Minister for Education and Skills of one or more than one person to act as an independent appeals officer to consider appeals against decisions of Caranua. Mr Patrick Whelan was appointed as appeals officer in February 2014 and served in that role for a period of some three years. In May 2017, I appointed Ms Geraldine Gleeson and Mr Brendan O’Leary to serve as appeals officers for a one year period. In May 2018, I offered a further period of appointment as an appeals officers to both Mr O’Leary and Ms Gleeson. Ms Gleeson advised that she was not in a position to continue in this role and I acknowledged this decision on 5thJuly 2018.

The question of appointing a second appeals officer will be kept under review having regard to the level of appeals on hands.

The annual report of the Caranua appeals officers, covering the period May 2017 to April 2018, has recently been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas in fulfilment of the statutory requirement.

It is a matter for Caranua to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to make funding provision for any contingent liabilities that might arise from legal actions or for other reasons.Residential Institutions Statutory Fund

Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of positions on the board in respect of the board of agencies and commercial State companies under his Department’s aegis in tabular form; the quorum required for a board meeting; the number of ministerial appointee vacancies on the board to date; the length of time the ministerial appointee vacancy has been present for each vacancy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Richard Bruton T.D., Minister for Education and Skills: Details of the State Boards that fall under the remit of my Department, including details on board appointments and board vacancies, are available on my Department’s website at the following link; https://www.education.ie/en/The-Department/Agencies/

As the Deputy will be aware, individuals may be nominated for appointment by various organisations arising from the terms in the relevant legislation regarding the Body concerned and accordingly board appointments made by me are not in all cases made at my discretion.

The information requested by the Deputy in regard to the number of vacant positions on boards, the date vacancies arose, details of board appointments to bodies and the timeline for the board appointments are provided in the following two tables.

The information sought in regard to the quorum required for a board meeting in each body is being collated and I will arrange to have it forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it becomes available.

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