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

7:45 pm

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois-Offaly, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I understand what is in the Constitution, from which Deputy Donnelly read. It refers to discussions only and not to papers. We are very clear that the amendment to the Constitution set out in Article 28.4.3° refers to the confidentiality of discussions and does not protect papers to the same extent. There is an exception where there is an application by a tribunal appointed by the Government or a Minister of the Government on the authority of the Oireachtas. It does not cover inquiries, but it covers tribunals. We are saying before we start that an inquiry carried out under the legislation will have fewer powers than a tribunal, by definition.


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