Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has called on the Citizens’ Information Board to act on the recommendations published today by the Committee on Social Protection.
His party colleague Denise Mitchell TD called on CIB to suspend the restructuring process.
Speaking after the launch of the committee report on the proposed restructuring of MABS and the Citizens Information Service Teachta Brady said;
“Earlier this year it became apparent that the Citizens’ Information Board were intent on making huge changes to the MABS and CIS services across the State with the aim of regionalisation.
“Our committee have thoroughly examined the case for restructuring MABS and CIS by the Citizens Information Board and we have concluded that this is an ill-thought out and unnecessary action to take.
“As a cross-party committee, we have listened to the concerns of MABS and CIS in relation to the proposed restructuring plans and we believe that these concerns are valid.
“There is a real sense of disappointment among MABS and CIS on the ground that Minister Varadkar has failed to take on board the serious concerns that have been raised over a number of months. This has been heightened by the Minister’s failure to respond to the Committee’s report.
“It is alarming that some members of the Citizens Information Board, who were present at the launch today, were unaware that a response to the Committee’s report had been issued by CIB without their knowledge or indeed, input. Clearly, this response does not represent the views of the CIB in its entirety.
“If CIB insist on going ahead with the restructuring process regardless of this committee report then responsibility falls on the Minister, whoever that may be, to issue a policy directive to CIB under Section 9 of the Citizens Information Act 2007 to abandon this process, something which has been done successfully in the past.
Teachta Denise Mitchell added:
“First and foremost, we are calling on CIB to suspend the restructuring process and to engage in proper consultation with willing stakeholders to ensure the future of MABS and CIS and the wonderful work they both do can continue. If CIB fail to do so, the Minister must.”