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

7:35 pm

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

Yes. For example, I was a member of the Joint Committee on Health and Children. It was felt that in drawing up the report concerning the constitutional amendment on children, each party and political group on the committee should have legal advice available to it. The Oireachtas paid for a legal adviser to be available to each group. There is therefore ample scope for that. It goes back to the point I made earlier, which Deputy Sean Fleming picked up on. My view is that we need to have a much better resourced committee system which, as a matter of routine, would have access to a panel of experts.

The Chairman referred to the Comptroller and Auditor General, who has a constitutional role which is prescribed under Article 33 and is prohibited from being a Member of either House. The Comptroller and Auditor General is circumscribed in what he can do.


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