429. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the timeframe for decisions to be issued by the ministerial decisions unit regarding recommendations on international protection applications received from the International Protection Office. [12742/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the receipt of a recommendation letter from the International Protection Office (IPO) should not be interpreted as a decision on the person’s international protection application. The IPO makes recommendations to me, as Minister for Justice and Equality, and due diligence must be carried out by INIS on each case before the formal letter of confirmation is issued on my behalf.
The current average processing times by INIS for grants of refugee status and subsidiary protection is 30 days, once a recommendation has been received. The average can be distorted by some cases that take somewhat longer to process. The INIS has recently reviewed its procedures in this area to ensure that decisions are made at the earliest possible point.