257. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a number of programmes that involve giving assistance to vulnerable young persons and special needs children on an occasional basis have been discontinued due to the host organisations wrongly interpreting the Children and Vulnerable Persons Act 2016; the action he will take to clarify the situation to enable these interactions to resume; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8780/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Employment vetting is carried out by An Garda Síochána primarily in accordance with the provisions of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016. The Deputy will understand that the primary purpose of the employment vetting carried out by the Garda National Vetting Bureau is to seek to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults.
In accordance with the legislation, registered organisations must obtain vetting for all persons seeking employment and volunteers, where the relevant work or activities of the position sought involves regular access to children or vulnerable adults. The requirements in this regard are set out in the legislation.
The Deputy will appreciate that it is of course a matter for individual organisations to ensure their compliance with the Act.