To ask the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide an update on the roll-out of the new public services card; if this will be on a national, regional or scheme basis; and if her Department will be establishing new centres to furnish members of the public with the card in as efficient and timely manner as possible. – Seán Kyne.
R E P L Y
Minister for Social Protection (Joan Burton T.D):
A Public Service Card (PSC) is currently issued following a registration process which involves the capture of an individual’s photograph and signature and the verification of identity data already held by the Department. The registration process is being offered on a nationwide basis and is now live in over 51 departmental offices, including dedicated multi SAFE (Standard Authentication Framework Environment )station centres in Dublin, Waterford and Galway. Additional multi SAFE station centres will open during 2013 at major urban locations including Cork and Limerick Work on the fit-out and resourcing of these additional centres is currently at an advanced stage. A number of PSCs have also been issued through a reduced registration process using information already available to the State such as a passport application.
Over 216,000 PSCs have been issued to date. The cards have been issued to customers of the Department and to applicants for Personal Public Services numbers. The number of PSCs to be produced from 2013 onwards will be significantly increased. SAFE registration will be expanded to encompass all Departmental scheme customers as well as customers of other public sector organisations and across the general population of Ireland. In that context the Department is engaged with a number of other Public Service bodies about the use of the SAFE/PSC infrastructure in the delivery of services.