Ombudsman and Information Commissioner Peter Tyndall has today welcomed the recommendations of an Oireachtas Committee contained in a report on the Direct Provision system for asylum seekers.
The report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions, published this morning, calls for the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) to establish a pre-Ombudsman independent complaints system for residents of direct provision centres. The report recognises the need for the Ombudsman to have unambiguous, independent oversight of direct provision centres.
The report also calls for the Freedom of Information Acts to be extended to include all aspects of the Direct Provision System.
Mr Tyndall said:
"This is an important area where very vulnerable people are living in poor conditions under the care of the State and which has no independent oversight. The Committee has called for the abolition of the direct provision system but in the meantime those affected should have access to redress both to my Office and also the Ombudsman for Children”.
The Minister of State for Equality, Mr Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has recently set up a working group to examine the issues around the direct provision system. Mr Tyndall hopes that the working group will take note of the Committee’s recommendations.
Mr Tyndall also welcomed recent additions to his jurisdiction as both Ombudsman and Information Commissioner and said that clarification of his jurisdiction in the area of direct provision would ensure that another area of public services has independent oversight.