Below are questions asked by TDs in Dáil Éireann, relating to Caranua and other areas relevant to survivors
Oversight of Caranua
Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Skills the oversight arrangements in place in her Department relative to the funds being administered by Caranua; if her Department insists on a monthly report on the operations of the organisation; the number employed by Caranua; the cost of administration of Caranua for each year since its establishment; the level of financial assistance granted in each year since its establishment; the number of cases funded; the number of cases refused; the number of appeals lodged; the outcome of same; and if she is satisfied with the performance of Caranua.
Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): Caranua, the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board, is an independent statutory body established pursuant to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012 to oversee the use of the cash contributions of up to €110 million, pledged by the religious congregations, to support the needs of survivors of institutional child abuse. To date a total of €81.77 million, including €80.388m in contributions and €1.382m in associated interest has been lodged to the special Investment Account managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) for the Fund in accordance with section 29 of the Residential Institution Statutory Act, 2012. Responsibility for the management and investment of the funds available to Caranua rests with the NTMA in accordance with the 2012 Act.
My Department has a Performance Delivery Agreement (PDA) with Caranua, which was updated in April 2015. Caranua has undertaken to provide my Department with agreed monthly statistical information, quarterly financial information and quarterly reports on its achievement of its performance targets. In relation to the monthly statistical reports, Caranua is currently reviewing its reporting systems and is expected to finalise the format of its monthly reports shortly.
Caranua provides updates on its website (www.caranua.ie) in regard to the number of applications received and related matters. The most recent update shows that by end April 2015, Caranua had made payments of €19.5m to 1,783 applicants. Decisions made by Caranua can be appealed to the independent Appeals Officer appointed under section 21 of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act, 2012. I understand that to date a total of 74 appeals have been received by the Appeals Officer.
The authorised staffing complement for Caranua is 10 posts, 7 of which posts are currently filled. In addition, Caranua is utilising the services of an employment agency to provide 14 temporary staff to assist in processing the backlog of applications. Caranua’s 2013 Financial Statements covering the period 25th March to 31st December have recently been laid before each House of the Oireachtas. These show administration expenses for the period of €0.388m. I understand also that the provisional unaudited administrative costs associated with the running of Caranua in 2014 amounted to some €1.2m. Finally, I would mention that Caranua has commissioned an external consultancy firm to review its structures, processes and systems. I expect to receive a copy of this report and Caranua’s views thereon in the near future.