One in six people living in direct provision in August this year had already been granted permission to remain in Ireland, the Comptroller and Auditor General has said.
The report of the C&AG, published yesterday, said 667 direct provision residents had been granted refugee status, subsidiary protection or leave to remain in Ireland.
The report said while firm information was not available to explain why people granted status continued to live in direct provision centres, difficulties in accessing alternative accommodation was likely to be a significant factor.
“It is not clear that using direct provision accommodation for such individuals is in the best interests of the State, the individuals or the intended users of direct provision,” the report said.
The report said the Department of Justice stated there was “no value in forcing individuals or families to leave” the direct provision centres.
The C&AG report also criticised the procurement of direct provision centres.
There are 35 direct provision centres in Ireland, which provide accommodation and food for people who have applied for refugee status.
At the end of 2015, there were 4,696 people accommodated in centres at a cost of €57 million.
The average length of stay was 38 months while 450 people had been living in direct provision for more than seven years.
Seven of the centres are State-owned while the remainder are operated by commercial suppliers and include former hotels, boarding schools and hostels.