488. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the time frame for the enactment of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013; if she will identify a budget for same; if she will consider establishing an interim office of the public guardian to prepare for the commencement of this legislation. [20110/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Assisted Decision-Making Capacity Bill is scheduled for Dáil Committee Stage on 17 June with a view to enactment later this year.
It is proposed to establish an Office of Public Guardian within the Courts Service, replacing the Office of Wards of Court with regard to adult wards. It will draw on staffing and non-pay resources of the Courts Service.
Initial budgetary estimates were prepared when the Bill was published. My Department is currently examining these estimates, including with regard to the transitional period of approximately four years during which the Office of the Public Guardian will operate concurrently with the Office of Wards of Court. Once that process has been completed, my Department will prepare proposals for agreement with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
My Department has been engaging with the Courts Service on the establishment of the Office of the Public Guardian and will put in place an implementation process over the next months to plan for the implementation of the new arrangements envisaged under this legislation.