Citizens Information Board prepares for the reorganisation of the Citizens Information Services and the Money Advice and Budgeting Services
Throughout May, the Citizens Information Board (CIB) engaged in comprehensive consultations about the implementation of the revised structure of the Citizens Information Services (CIS) and the Money Advice and Budgeting Services (MABS). CIB hosted fourteen separate consultation sessions, covering the eight proposed regions throughout the country and met with staff and Board members of MABS, and staff, volunteers and Board members of CIS from each region. Services were well represented (CIS: 78% attendance from staff/volunteer representatives; and 77% attendance from Board representatives. MABS: 100% attendance from staff representatives, and 81% attendance from Board representatives).
The next phase in the process is to hold further consultations in the coming weeks on a range of key themes identified at the recent sessions. The topics will focus on the role of volunteers, maintaining the local link within regional structures, and the strategy for service delivery for both the CIS and MABS.
Angela Black, CEO, CIB, reassured the stakeholders that, since the reorganisation will be at Board level only, there will be no job losses and no changes to the terms and conditions of employment under the Transfer of Undertakings for the Protection of Employment (TUPE) regulations.
This defined legal process makes clear provision to ensure that conditions and contracts of employment of individual employees involved in a transfer are protected. A legal firm has been contracted by CIB to support CIS and MABS employees through the TUPE process in each region. Further professional support in areas such as pensions, premises, HR, and company wind-up and transfer will also be available to all services to aid the transition phase.
Many of the participants at the consultations acknowledged that the current structure of 93 separate companies was excessive, and that the new structure of 16 Regional Boards was a welcome measure to ensure CIS and MABS can deliver a 21st century service.
The Citizens Information Board, having noted the recent recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Social Protection Committee, is committed, through its executive, to implement the reorganisation of CIS and MABS operations at Board level. The consultation into how to adapt the CIS and MABS services to deliver better services and improved governance involved extensive research. This included a review of the organisational structures and a feasibility study regarding the consolidation of delivery partners to ensure a modern, more robust service delivery model.
In addition, recommendations from the Comptroller & Auditor General included a requirement that CIB improve the effectiveness of the control environment, financial management, and governance of the services in the short term.
The Citizens Information Board thanks all those who took part in the consultations and looks forward to working towards a smooth transition for the staff, volunteers and Board members of the CIS and MABS organisations.