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1463. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Justice the mechanism in place for international protection order applicants to track the progress of their applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20070/21]

1464. Deputy Johnny Mythen asked the Minister for Justice if a mechanism can be put in place for international protection order applicants to track the progress of their applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20071/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1463 and 1464 together.
I have established a Programme Board in my Department to oversee the implementation of recommendations of the Advisory Group on the Provision of Support including Accommodation to Persons in the International Protection Process, as appropriate and as relevant to my Department’s areas of responsibility. This includes recommendations to improve application processing times, as outlined in the recently published White Paper on Ending Direct Provision and to Establish a new International Protection Service. The Programme Board is supported by an Implementation Working Group comprising senior officials from the relevant areas of my department to support their implementation and to report to the Board on progress at regular intervals.
In this regard, the White Paper commits to implementing the key recommendations in the Advisory Group Report to reduce processing times of both first instance decisions and appeals to 6 months respectively. Work is underway in my Department towards identifying mechanisms which will assist with working towards improved processing times.
I am happy to advise that additional ICT resources have been secured for 2021 and detailed work including an end-to-end review of processes to guide enhanced processing times is well underway. When this first phase of work has been carried out it will enable a more detailed set of milestones to be put in place.
The Advisory Group's recommendation in relation to the introduction of an online system to enable applicants to track their applications will be considered as part of the ongoing analysis of progress towards achieving the objectives outlined in the White Paper.