499. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the delay in providing ministerial decision letters for applicants seeking asylum in circumstances in which the IPO has made recommendations to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19243/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): A recommendation letter from the International Protection Office (IPO) is not in itself a grant or status letter but, rather, a recommendation as to whether a grant of international protection should be made or not made. Following the issue of a recommendation letter from the IPO, necessary due diligence must be carried out before a declaration of refugee or subsidiary protection status issues.
I am assured that applicants receive a decision as soon as possible following a recommendation letter from the IPO in relation to their application.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department has recently completed an examination of the processes in this area and I am informed that the resulting process changes will be reflected in shorter processing times in the coming weeks.