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A data protection assessment needed for the roll-out of the Decision Support Service (DSS) is likely to be “a lot more expensive than initially thought”, according to minutes of a Mental Health Commission (MHC) management meeting.
At the meeting, which was held in October 2018, the slow roll-out of the DSS was discussed.
It was noted the project would not be able to meet its target date of quarter one, 2020, “due to various delays, some internal and some external”.
According to the minutes, input was required from the Department of Justice and Equality (DJE) and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to progress ICT needs for the DSS.
“Concern was raised on the time that a DPER review of the ICT project might take, given the work that this requires,” stated the minutes. “A clear timeline needs to be outlined and how that might impact on the overall timeline of the project.”
Regarding the data protection assessment for the DSS, the meeting heard it had been agreed that the MHC’s internal auditors would do a scoping exercise on the overall work required.
“The cost could be €200,000 or more, which was not included in the budget estimates sent to the DJE.”
However, speaking to the Medical Independent, Chief Executive of the MHC Mr John Farrelly said he was “confident” the cost would not be this high.
“You have to go to tender, you have to go to procurement, so every penny we spend goes to public tender and you have to get what’s best value for money,” he said.
Mr Farrelly said there was “an awful lot of complexity around the information that we are looking for, so we want to get it right… There is no doubt about it, that specialists who know what they are doing do cost money”.
The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 provides for the establishment of the DSS within the MHC to support decision-making by and for adults with capacity difficulties and to regulate individuals who are providing support to such people.