Fianna Fáil TD and Chair of the Social Protection Committee John Curran has expressed his frustration over the Citizen’s Information Board’s (CIB) refusal to attend the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Employment Affairs and Social Protection to address the cost of their planned restructuring of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) and Citizen’s Information Services (CIS).
Deputy Curran said, “I am deeply frustrated that the CIB are refusing an invitation from the Oireachtas Committee of Social Protection to address the very important issue of the cost of their planned restructuring of MABS and CIS.
“A cost-benefit analysis has just been published in relation to the costs involved in the restructuring of MABS and CIS. This is public money that we are talking about and it is most inappropriate for CIB to refuse to present the findings of the analysis in front of the Oireachtas Committee.
“There has been strong opposition to the restructuring from staff and volunteers at CIS and MABS and also from TD’s from across the political spectrum.
“It is apparent that CIB wish to steamroll ahead with the restructuring process despite the passing of a Dáil motion calling for the restructuring process to be halted and instruction from the Committee to issue a policy directive to the Citizens Information Board (CIB) to abandon the restructuring proposal pending the examination of a workable alternative based on consultation with all stakeholders.
He added, The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection considered the proposed re-organisation and produced a report on the matter in June 2017. In this report, the Committee recommended that CIB should carry out a cost benefit analysis of the proposed restructure.
“The analysis shows that the proposed reorganisation would involve additional expenditure by the CIB of €4.55 million in present values over 8 years.
“This report has been prepared by KHSK Economic Consultants in response to the committee’s request; therefore it is outrageous that CIB will not present these findings to the committee.
“Refusing to interact with the Oireachtas Social Protection Committee is neither democratic nor fair. Moreover, it is an insult to all of those who are seeking to have their legitimate concerns genuinely considered”, concluded Deputy Curran.