Question to the Minister for Social Protection (Ms Joan Burton, TD)
To ask the Minister for Social Protection the progress she has made regarding the pathways to work proposal to outsource additional resources for certain labour activation measures, in view of the European Commission’s Winter 2012 Review of Ireland’s Economic Adjustment Programme, published in April, which recommended that this process needs to be accelerated; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 27th June, 2013.
The Pathways to Work initiative launched last year signalled the potential of contracting with third party providers to complement the existing capacity of the department to deliver employment services. The potential contribution of contracting and the design of a contracting approach has since been considered by the Department working with an Interdepartmental group, comprising representatives of this department, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the National Economic and Social Council, the Offices of the Attorney General and the Chief State Solicitor. The Department also availed of expert international advice.
Arising from this evaluation, the Cabinet Committee on Pathways to Work approved in principle a proposal to tender the provision of employment services and agreed to the issue Prior Information Notice (PIN). This notice formally notifies the market that the State intends to procure employment services. A PIN is a discretionary and exploratory first step in a procurement process. The publication of a PIN will enable the State to engage with potential vendors and other interested parties to gauge the level of market interest and assist in finalising tender/contract design.