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

5:55 pm

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

I move amendment No. 8:

In page 16, before section 6, but in Part 2, to insert the following new section:“6.—No new Oireachtas committee shall be established under this Act other than a committee of inquiry.”.
This amendment is very straightforward. The Minister will probably explain to me now how the legislation is not as it appears and that it does not do what it says on the tin, so to speak. However, when I read this legislation, I see numerous new committees being set up. I read them all into the record on Second Stage and counted at least half a dozen. At least six committees are referred to in this legislation which can be set up depending on the nature of the inquiry. There will be a committee to examine the issue, another to set the terms of reference and another to advise on procedures, while another will be set up under the Part 10 procedures, and so forth. A whole range of committees must be established before an inquiry can get up and running. Taking the legislation at face value, there are too many committees being set up. My amendment provides that no new Oireachtas committee shall be established under this Act other than a committee of inquiry. There are enough committees in existence as it is and we should not be setting up a raft of new ones. Even if such committees only sit a few times, on a temporary basis, there must be a better way of doing business than what is proposed here. During the Second Stage debate, the Minister told me that the Bill is not as it looks but I can only go by what it says on the tin. The tin says, as is clear from the legislation, that a raft of extra committees will be established. I believe these are unnecessary and we should not be doing this. I am also worried about the associated costs of setting up new committees, in terms of procedures, staffing and so forth.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.