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Written Answers. - Departmental Studies.

Wednesday, 28 February 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 462 No. 3

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 87. Mr. Callely Information on Ivor Callely Zoom on Ivor Callely  asked the Minister for Social Welfare Information on Prionsias De Rossa Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  the total number of studies undertaken by his Department or by an agency under the aegis of his Department; the number of matters that he or the Minister(s) of State at his Department have referred for study/report/review to an expert group. [4378/96]

Minister for Social Welfare (Proinsias De Rossa): Information on Prionsias De Rossa Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa As part of its normal business, the Department has a wide range of reviews of schemes and services in progress at at any one time. Most of these are carried out by the staff of the Department as part of their normal [788] work. Not all of these reviews result in formal reports. Due to the extent and nature of these internal reviews, it would not be practical to list them, in any particular detail.

In addition there are three statutory bodies under the aegis of the Department: the Combat Poverty Agency; the Pensions Board; and the National Social Services Board. Each has an advisory and research role. In this regard, for example, the Combat Poverty Agency has undertaken 34 studies since January 1995.

There are certain key reviews being carried out under the aegis of groups such as the Expert Working Group on the Integration of Tax and Social Welfare and the Commission on the Family. It is intended that the reports of these groups will be published in due course.

The following are the studies currently under way:

1. Task Force on Security for the Elderly. To examine the situation of those elderly people who cannot avail of the tax allowance initiative announced in the budget because their incomes are below the relevant tax exemption limits.

2. Independent Customer and General Public Survey.

3. Occupational Pensions Survey. This study is being done in conjunction with the Pensions Board.

4. Household Income and Poverty Survey. A variety of reports are to be provided over these two years.

5. Review of Social Welfare Rates.

6. Review of the Combat Poverty Agency. The purpose of the review is to identify and describe the full range of the Agency's activities to date and to identity priority objectives for the Agency in the light of the changed environment in which it now operates.

7. Review of the Back to Work and Area (Enterprise) Allowance Schemes.

8. Audit of the Central Records System.

9. Review of Financial and Administrative Systems.

10. Networks Redesign. Design of new telecommunications network.

11. Study on availability of credit to [789] the Travelling Community. This study is being done in conjunction with St. Vincent de Paul Society.

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