PAS has a programme in place to evaluate the achievement of the Standards of Service Delivery (as set out in the Quality Customer Service Action Plan and Statement of Strategy). Reports on the achievement of these standards are evaluated by the Management Team and by the Board of PAS on a regular basis. In 2015, the average time taken to run a professional and technical recruitment campaign was less than the 16-week target agreed with clients; the average time taken to run a senior executive campaign was less than the 12-week target agreed with clients. The average times were based on an analysis of all relevant campaigns run by PAS. However, the unanticipated level of demand for Clerical Officer and Executive Officer has meant that these roles have not always been filled as quickly as clients require. PAS have set challenging quantitative standards for the delivery of its services to differing customer groups. PAS conduct a number of annual customer surveys in order to ascertain whether the service standards set for these groups are being achieved and how these groups rate all of the services that are provided. These surveys include Client, Selection Board Member, Candidate and Staff Surveys. Reports on the outcome of the Customer Surveys are provided to the Board. The results of the client and staff surveys are discussed on pages 23 and 29 respectively. The results of the candidate and selection board member surveys are discussed below.
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compliance with the revised Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies, published in June 2009. These actions included the amending of the Board's own Corporate Governance Manual to take account of the 2009 Code of Practice and the revised Corporate Governance Manual was formally approved by the former Board at its meeting in November 2009. The Board’s manual has been updated on two occasions since 2009, in December 2011 and 2013. A revised Code of Business Conduct for Board Members was also approved by the former Board in October 2009. As required under the 2009 Code of Practice, the Board developed and implemented a Travel Policy during 2009 which sets out how the Board complies with the current Department of Finance regulations and guidelines on travel and subsistence. A financial fraud prevention policy for the Board was approved and implemented during 2008 which includes, inter alia, procedures whereby employees of the Board may in confidence, raise concerns about possible irregularities in financial reporting and other matters and ensure that such matters are followed up in a meaningful way. This policy was updated in 2015. A Corporate Procurement Policy was finalised in September 2010 and forwarded to the Finance and Audit and Risk Management Committees for information prior to implementation. A Protected Disclosures Policy that establishes internal procedures for the making of protected disclosures was developed and implemented during 2015. The current Board was appointed in December 2011 and was briefed on Board roles and responsibilities.
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drawing on research examples of best practice. CDI offers introductory workshops and tailored training to suit organisational needs. In 2015, requests were made from two groups to tailor the workshop using the Quality Services Better Outcomes Workbook. One input was with the consortium from Ballyfermot ABC who requested a focus on implementation. There was good representation of all relevant stakeholders with learnings shared across all. A second workshop was delivered to managers and staff of County Childcare Committees. While the focus was on managing change, a general input was given on all aspects of the Workbook. From 2013 to 2015 168 participants have availed of training. In 2015 20 people completed tailored training with a 95% rating of very good to excellent for the knowledge of the facilitator, 95% very good to excellent for the level of engagement and 95% very good to excellent for the usefulness of the Quality Services Better Outcomes Workbook. CDI regularly offers training using this resource and can tailor delivery for specific issues. The workbook is available on http://www.twcdi.ie/images/uploads/ general/Quality-Services-Better-Outcomes-Workbook- Final.pdf
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We continued to develop information materials, guidance and support initiatives for people with diseases other than cancer to receive appropriate levels of palliative care. The report on the Action Research Project on Heart Failure and Palliative Care, which was based in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, was published. We produced a patient information leaflet, in conjunction with the Irish Heart Foundation, entitled ‘Planning for the Future – Living with Advanced Heart Failure’. In collaboration with the Neurological Association of Ireland and Professor Orla Hardiman, Professor of Neurology, Trinity College Dublin, we published the report from the roundtable meeting on palliative care for people with advancing neurological disease. Our Changing Minds programme continued to focus on the palliative care needs of people with dementia and their families. Three patient factsheets entitled ‘Understanding late stage dementia’, ‘Loss and grief when a family member has dementia’ and ‘Grieving following the death of someone with dementia’ were developed in association with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and were launched as part of National Carers Week in June. The first of a series of seven guidance documents, supporting healthcare staff in addressing specific aspects of dementia palliative care, was published following a public consultation in July, along with an accompanying fact sheet. The remaining six guidance documents will be completed in 2016. Two dementia palliative care seminars were held in Waterford and Mullingar respectively, with over 300 delegates attending. Meanwhile our re-granting programme in 2015 focused on supporting developments in dementia and end-of-life with an emphasis on community settings.
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My Office cannot pursue complaints against private nursing homes or the Health Service Executive where the action complained of relates solely to a clinical judgement decision (for example the diagnosis or the particular course of treatment prescribed for a patient). I have argued that this constraint should be removed, as many people wishing to complain about the health service want these issues addressed. During 2015 the Minister for Health began a review of this matter in consultation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and other interested parties. He also indicated that he was in favour of having the restriction removed. The Northern Ireland Ombudsman, the UK Parliamentary Ombudsman and many other Ombudsman Offices have full jurisdiction in the area of clinical judgement. I very much hope that there will be progress on this issue in 2016.
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In June of 2015, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in the case of National Asset Management Agency -v- the Commissioner for Environmental Information  IESC 51. The Court found that NAMA is a public authority for the purposes of the AIE Regulations, but for different reasons than those relied upon by my office in reaching the same conclusion. The Court found that NAMA qualified as a public authority under the second category of the public authority definition, as a legal person performing public administrative functions. In determining that NAMA was captured by the public authority definition, the Court had the benefit of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Fish Legal and Emily Shirley v Information Commissioner and Others (C-279/12), which had not been available to my predecessor at the time of her decision. In light of the Fish Legal judgment, the Supreme Court was satisfied that NAMA is indeed a public authority exercising public administrative functions on the basis that, although it is obliged to act commercially, it is vested with special powers beyond those which result from the normal rules applicable in relations between persons governed by private law.
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Another busy year for the Standards in Public Office Commission commenced with work ongoing on developing the online Register of Lobbying. Although the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 was not passed until March 2015, work on the development of the online register had commenced in 2014 and continued in early 2015. The Register of Lobbying was launched at an event on 30 April 2015, following the passing of the Act. The Commission has, in accordance with the Regulation of Lobbying Act, published an annual report on the carrying out of its functions under that Act. In January 2015, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr Alan Kelly TD, published a consultation paper on the establishment of an independent Electoral Commission. The Standards Commission participated in the consultation process which culminated in a report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht which proposed that the functions of the Standards Commission relating to the regulation of political funding and election expenditure should be transferred to the Electoral Commission. The Programme for Government 2016 sets the establishment of an Electoral Commission as a priority.
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Area Based Approach to Tackle Child Poverty A number of measures were introduced in Budget 2015 including the increase of € 5 per month in child benefit, the introduction of a back-to-work family dividend of € 29.80 per child, and the increase of € 2m in the school meals programme. A multi- dimensional approach to tackling child poverty is being implemented as a priority action under the children and young people’s policy framework. Intensive support and guidance has been provided to all thirteen ABC Programme Areas with ten sites now contracted, in funds and fully operational. Discussions are ongoing in relation to the remaining three sites to ensure that contracts are finalised. A range of programmes and services are being implemented in each ABC area targeting parenting, early years, literacy and numeracy skills. An overall evaluation of the impact of the ABC Programme, along with regular analysis of the outcomes, will be undertaken in each area to support its implementation with initial data expected to emerge in mid 2015.
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In January 2015, the Office published a list of insolvent companies and the associated liquidators in respect of whom the ODCE had identified the requirement for the submission to the ODCE of a liquidator’s report in 2014. The purpose of publishing this list was to enable interested parties to bring any matters of concern in relation to an insolvent company in liquidation to the attention of the liquidator and/or the ODCE, in order that any such concerns could be taken into account in determining whether or not an application for restriction of the company’s directors should be made to the High Court. Further detail regarding this aspect of liquidators’ reporting obligations to the ODCE is set out in Chapter 3 of this Report. During the year, the ODCE also published six bi-monthly lists setting out details of (i) insolvent companies in liquidation; and (ii) the associated liquidators for whom a section 682 reporting obligation would arise during 2015. The purpose of publishing these lists is to enable interested parties to bring any matters of concern in relation to the companies listed to the attention of the liquidator and/or the ODCE, in order that any such concerns can be taken into account when determining whether or not an application for restriction of one or more of the company’s directors should be made to the High Court or whether a Restriction Undertaking should be sought by the ODCE from one or more of the company’s directors as an alternative to Court proceedings. Further detail regarding both the section 682 and Undertakings processes is set out in Chapter 3 of this Report.
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reduction. There was a sustained focus during 2015 on the implementation of the Action Plan to Address Homelessness, including putting in place the Cold Weather Initiative to tackle rough sleeping over the winter period. In the area of disability, the Committee contributed to the development of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities, the new model of supports for children with disabilities to fully participate in pre-school settings and a range of new autism actions for inclusion in the National Disability Implementation Plan. Other work advanced in 2015 included the new Irish Refugee Protection Programme to manage refugees arriving in Ireland under the EU
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The NH WRRC sponsored the “NH Water and Watershed Conference” which was held in combination with the 39 th annual New England Association of Environmental Biologists (NEAB) meeting on March 18-20, 2015 in Bartlett, NH. The NEAEB conference serves as a platform for water resource experts, state and federal regulators, watershed organizations and other parties invested in environmental biology to share their first-hand experiences and knowledge as well as to discuss important issues affecting the world’s waters. The NEAEB conference comes to New Hampshire only once every seven years thus this was a unique opportunity to combine these complementary events. The NH WRRC co-sponsored this conference along with Plymouth State University and the Center for the Environment, United States Environmental Protection Agency, New England Water Pollution Control Commission, and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Two days of the conference were dedicated to concurrent sessions and workshops. One day was devoted to several relevant plenary presentations intermixed with a poster session and roundtable discussions. The Center’s Associate Director also serves on the planning committee for the annual NH Water and
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The annual survey of Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy Renal Data Registry (JRDR) was conducted for 4380 dialysis facilities at the end of 2015, among which 4321 facilities (98.7%) responded. The response rate of the 2015 survey was comparable with the past, even though it was the first year after the new anonymization method. The number of chronic dialysis patients in Japan continues to increase every year; it has reached 324,986 at the end of 2015. The mean age was 67.86 years. At the end of 2015, the prevalence rate was 2592 patients per million population. Diabetic nephropathy was the most common primary disease among the prevalent dialysis patients (38.4%), followed by chronic glomerulonephritis (29.8%) and nephrosclerosis (9.5%). The rate of diabetic nephropathy and nephrosclerosis has been increasing year by year, whereas that of chronic glomerulonephritis was declining. The number of incident dialysis patients during 2015 was 39,462; it has remained stable since 2008. The average age was 69.20 years, and diabetic nephropathy (43.7%) was the most common cause in the incident dialysis patients. These patients caused by diabetes did not change in number for the last several years. Meanwhile, 31,608 patients died in 2015; the crude mortality rate was 9.6%. The patients treated by hemodiafiltration (HDF) have been increasing rapidly from the revision of medical reimbursement for HDF therapy in 2012. It has attained 53,776 patients at the end of 2015, which were 10,493 greater than that in 2014. In particular, the number of online HDF patients increased about ten times 2012. The number of peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients was 9322 in 2015, which was slightly increased than 2014. Twenty percent of PD patients treated in the combination of hemodialysis (HD) or HDF therapy. Five hundred seventy-two patients underwent home HD therapy at the end of 2015; it increased by 43 from 2014.
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(4) Italy, Abruzzo earthquake of 2009: the financial contribution amounted to EUR 493,77 million. The implementation report was received by the Commission in January 2011. Italy reported eligible expenditure of EUR 919,98 million, exceeding the EUSF contribution by EUR 426,12 million. Given the size of the financial contribution, this case was audited by the Commission and also subject of a performance audit undertaken by the European Court of Auditors. The final report of the performance audit of the European Court of Auditors was published in February 2013 (Special Report No 24/2012). The final audit report of the Commission was sent to Italy in May 2013. Following the Commission’s audit ineligible expenditure was detected. Italy could legally exclude the irregular expenditure from the declared one and still justify a sufficient amount of regular expenditure to cover the totality of the EUSF financial contribution. As a consequence, the findings detected did not have any financial impact on the EU budget and no recovery of EU funds was required. The case was closed on 27 November 2013.
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The Serbian authorities estimated the total direct damage caused by the disaster at EUR 1 106 million, an amount based on the results of the Recovery Needs Assessment carried out with the participation of the EU and international organisations in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. It represented 3,80% of Serbia’s gross national income (GNI). It exceeded more than six times the threshold for mobilising the EUSF of EUR 174,649 million applicable to Serbia in 2014 (i.e. 0,6% of GNI based on 2012 data). As the estimated total direct damage exceeded the threshold the disaster qualified as a “major natural disaster” and the Commission accepted the application from Serbia on 10 October 2014. The financial contribution amounting to EUR 60 224 605 was paid out on 14 April 2015.
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Following elections in June 2004, a substantial number of new- comers from new and old Member States joined the European Parliament. A background brieﬁng on the EIB Group’s activities was providedfor numerous MEPs.TheEIBGroup continuedits dia- loguewith theParliament byattendingmeetings of parliamentary committees, notably the Committees on Economic and Monetary Aﬀairs,Budgets,RegionalPolicyandTransport,and throughdirect contacts with MEPs. As requested by the European Parliament, a detailed follow-up report on the status of implementation of the various recommendations made by the EP was submitted, together with information on transparency, governance, envir- onmental policy and support for SMEs. Also, during an expert hearing organised by the EP’s Economic and Monetary Aﬀairs Committee, President Maystadt provided detailed information on the EIB’s contribution to the Lisbon agenda.
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Due to an intense solar storm in November 2015, aircraft were not allowed to take off from airports in Sweden for over an hour, while in March 1989, a solar storm triggered a sequence of events that caused a nine-hour outage of the Hydro-Quebec power grid in Canada. A solar storm later that year caused a halt in all trading on Toronto’s stock market. This is nothing new. In 1859, the largest solar storm on record occurred. The aurora that it produced was visi- ble as far south as Italy in Europe and Jamaica in the Caribbean. Here in Ireland, the Irish Times of the day reported “the whole sky from the horizon to the zenith being irradiated with a rich purple tint [and] telegraph communications with all quarters were disturbed owing to some mysterious atmospheric influence”. Trinity’s tradition in solar-terrestrial research – In Trinity, there is a long tra- dition of research in geomagnetism. Humphrey Lloyd, Professor of Natural
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Trinity Ladies Basketball made history by winning the ‘double’ of Division 1 League and Intervarsity titles, for the first time. The Ladies Gaelic Footballers also claimed league and cup honours in 2014/15 whilst the Hurling Club won the Ryan Cup, led by Dublin Senior hurler Danny Sutcliffe and sports scholar, Darragh O’Donoghue. There was ‘treble’ success for Men’s Hockey who won their division as well as the Railway Cup and Irish Hockey Challenge. The Swimming & Waterpolo Club hosted a hugely successful intervarsity tournament, and swept the boards in home waters, winning both Men’s and Women’s titles, and the girls went on to win the Leinster Senior Cup for the first time ever. Rowing at Trinity continues to go from strength to strength and as well as retaining the overall intervarsity title and recording a memorable clean sweep against UCD in the Annual Colours on the Liffey, Trinity crews featured prominently at the national championships. The ladies won the Senior IV title for the first time in 12 years and the men claimed the coveted Senior VIII after an 8 year gap.
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S INCE ITS LAUNCH, the Digital Repository has enjoyed high rates of participation from faculty and staff across campus. In fiscal year 2015, the chairs of the entomology and industrial and manufacturing engineering departments encouraged their faculty to submit their publications to the repository, resulting in high participation rates amongst tenured and tenure-eligible faculty (including a 100% participation rate in faculty from Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, as of July 1, 2015). Department chairs across campus are recognizing the potential of the repository to raise the visibility of their department, increase citations to faculty publications, support accreditation and external reviews, and as a recruitment tool to attract new faculty and students to the universities.
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superseding the old Repository Manager role. In January 2015 Anna Lawson went on maternity leave, and Jane Belger took on the Research and Open Access Librarian role full-time. Jane has reduced her hours to four days a week, and will continue on this basis until Anna’s return to work, currently expected to be January 2016. Having extended her temporary contract, Veronica Morin- Quintal left the repository team in June 2015.
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For Directive Proposal COM(2003) 739 on Energy End-Use Efficiency and Ener- gy Services, the JRC explored the pre- sent market and policy situation for En- ergy Service Companies and provided input to other measures proposed in the directive such as: energy efficiency certificates; demand response; advanced meters; and informative billing. As support to Commission Communica- tion COM(2002) 263 on the eEurope 2005 Action Plan, the JRC presented the draft pilot exercise on the “composite indicator of e-business readiness” at a meeting between Eurostat, and the En- terprise and Information Society DGs. Commission Communication COM(2003) 265 final was the first report based on the implementation of the data protec- tion Directive 95/46/EC and refers to the JRC report entitled “future bottle- necks in the information society”. Commission Communication COM (2003) 301 entitled “Towards a thematic strat- egy on the prevention and recycling of waste”, specifically referred to the JRC “Pay as you Throw” project.
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