Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Justice if her attention has been drawn to the difficulties for citizens contacting the Legal Services Regulatory Authority; if she will seek a report from the Authority on its customer service arrangements to deal with telephone queries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39595/22]
1612. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice if the current average waiting times for complaints from members of the public to be dealt with by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority; the current staffing levels and staff vacancies in the LSRA; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41702/22]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1495 and 1612 together.
As the Deputy may be aware, the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) is an independent body responsible for the regulation of the legal professions under the provisions of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015.
Under the terms of the 2015 Act, the Authority appoints its own staff with the approval of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. However, to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the LSRA has provided me with the information in the table below.
LSRA Staff Resources as at 21 July 2022
|Grade||Number of staff (Full Time Equivalent)|
|Assistant Principal Officer||7|
|Higher Executive Officer||7|
I am also informed that the Authority seconds a small number of staff to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.
Detailed information on the LSRA's complaints process can be found on its website at: How We Handle Complaints – Legal Services Regulatory Authority (lsra.ie). As noted in its Information Note for the Public, as no two complaints are the same, it is very difficult to estimate how long a complaint may take. However, the LSRA is committed to providing an efficient and effective service and will be working hard to have the matter dealt with as quickly as possible.
The Deputy may also be aware that the LSRA has a dedicated email address for the provision of information to members of the Houses of the Oireachtas, and can be contacted directly at email@example.com.