The Department of Justice and Equality released on Friday details about a Briefing Note on the progress of the Expert Group on Direct Provision, prepared by the chair Dr Catherine Day (former Secretary General of the European Commission).
The recommended measures include an extension of the right to work, an exploration of alternative housing models and funding provisions, clearer guidance to ensure all applicants can open bank accounts, a reduction in the amount of time taken to process positive decisions, the application and enforcement of binding standards for direct provision centres by January 2021, compulsory training and regular networking for centre managers, a move away from the use of emergency accommodation, carrying out of consistent vulnerability assessments and improved access to driving licenses through collaboration with the Department of Transport.
Established in late 2019, the Expert Group on the Provision of Support, including Accommodation, to Persons in the International Protection Process (Asylum Seekers) is tasked with advising and setting out a process for achieving the development of a long-term approach to the provision of supports, including accommodation, to persons in the international protection process. Originally, the group were asked to report their findings by the end of 2020. However, considering the importance of the issue, Dr Day informed the Department of Justice and Equality that the group aims to complete its work by the end of September 2020.