58. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the expected timeframe for the conclusion of the work to be carried out by the independent and change implementation group in respect of reform of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5681/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): On Tuesday last, the Government approved the establishment of an independent Change Implementation Group for the Department of Justice and Equality.
It is undoubtedly the case that my Department plays a central role in the functioning of our society with a mandate which is complex, varied and challenging. Members of this House are aware that following the Toland report in 2014, the Department introduced a Programme for Change to implement the recommendations set out in that report. Implementing any programme of reform is always demanding but the Department has made good progress in implementing those recommendations. To continue that process of reform, it is intended that the Change Implementation Group will assess progress to date and support the implementation of any outstanding elements.
The Group's remit is not however limited to the Toland Report. The terms of reference include an examination of the relationship between the Department and An Garda Síochána and the work of the Commission on the Future of Policing and the Policing Authority will be particularly important in this regard.
I would like to put on record my thanks to the experts who have agreed to participate in the Change Group: Mr Padraig Ó'Ríordáin - who will Chair the Group, Ms Theresa Daly, Mr Andrew Algeo and Mr Kieran Coughlan.
The Group has been requested to provide an initial report by the end of June 2018, with quarterly reports to follow. I, as Minister, will then review the situation and provide a progress report and recommendations for any further action in the first quarter of 2019.
I would like to assure the House that the Change Implementation Group will receive every assistance from myself and the officials in my Department in the delivery of their work and I know that the Chair has already been in contact with senior management of the Department with respect to commencing that work.