Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform: Select Sub-Committee on Public Expenditure and Reform

Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013: Committee Stage

6:15 pm

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour) | Oireachtas source

The Deputy makes a very fair point. I have said publicly that there was a reluctance among people to vote to give additional powers to committees. They looked at the way some witnesses had been treated and said, "Hmm, I don't want to give additional powers to the Oireachtas in that regard". When this Bill was published I said there would be some element of proofing, by us, so that as an Oireachtas we are capable of holding fair procedures, and this is mirrored in every section. Constitutional rights are in no way diminished because a person is either a Member of the House or an officeholder. Fair procedures are afforded to every citizen under the Constitution and that will continue to be the case. I have laid out how there might be safeguards against bias by Members. Similarly to all citizens, every Member of the House will have full rights to vindicate his or her own good name and rights.


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