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Question

429. Deputy Mairéad Farrell asked the Minister for Justice the number of protected disclosures made to her concerning her Department and bodies under its aegis in 2018, 2019 and 2020. [59916/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy will be aware, the Protected Disclosures Act was enacted in 2014 to allow employees to bring alleged wrongdoing to the attention of the appropriate authorities.
Section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 requires public bodies to prepare and publish a report each year in relation to the previous year, on the disclosures received and dealt with under its policy, in an anonymised form.
My Department publishes annual reports in respect of protected disclosures received in the Department of Justice.
With regard to the Deputy’s question on the number of protected disclosures made to me concerning my Department and bodies under its aegis in 2018, 2019 and 2020, it is important to note that a number of agencies under the remit of my Department, including the Irish Prison Service, the Legal Aid Board, the Courts Service, An Garda Síochána and the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, have their own protected disclosures policies in place and report separately on disclosures received in line with the requirements of the Act.
It is also important to note that officials working in these organisations may make a protected disclosure to that agency directly, as well as to my Department.
The table below sets out the number and details of protected disclosures made to my Department for the years requested.

Year Allegations of Wrongdoing Assessed as not a Protected Disclosure and/or transferred to the appropriate aegis body/area Closed following investigation Ongoing
2018 13 8 3 2
2019 15 10 4 1
2020 23 17 2 4
Total 51 35 9 7

Information about protected disclosures received by my Department is available on our website at: www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Publications-annual-reports?opendocument&start=0&year=2019.