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Question

821. Deputy Pa Daly asked the Minister for Justice the legislative reforms required in order to decrease case processing times within the international protection system; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17097/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): My Department is committed to implementing the key recommendations in the Expert Advisory Group Report to reduce processing times of both first instance decisions and appeals to 6 months respectively, as outlined in the White Paper to End Direct Provision and Establish a New International Protection Support Service, which was recently published by my colleague, Minister O'Gorman.
I have established a Programme Board in my Department to oversee the implementation of the relevant recommendations of the Expert Advisory Group and the White Paper. This 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. The Programme Board will report directly to the Cabinet Committee on Social Affairs and Equality on progress in this regard, while my Department will also be represented on a Programme Board to be established and chaired by Minister O'Gorman, which will set performance indicators for the new model and monitor progress against those indicators.
The White Paper proposes that the new system should be phased in and operational by 2023 and that the intervening period should provide an opportunity to progress improvements in the overall processing times for international protection.
Work is underway in my Department towards Identifying mechanisms which will assist with working towards improved processing times. 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 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 recommendations in relation to processing times for international protection, including legislative amendments as appropriate, are being considered by my Department as part of the ongoing analysis of progress towards achieving the objectives outlined in the White Paper.