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 Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour) | Oireachtas source

The Bill sets out a number of statutory functions which a committee must carry out. It certainly is not the intention that one would need a separate committee to carry out each function. For example, all of the functions set out in Parts 10 and 11, relating to private papers, confidential communications, official documents and so forth, would all be done, I would imagine, by the Committee on Procedure and Privileges. We must state, in the legislation, that such a function must be assigned to a committee. In terms of the actual amendment, I believe it is bad law for a Minister to propose to a committee, in statute, that no Oireachtas committee can be established. That is a matter for the Oireachtas to determine. That should not be done in statute.

It is not my intention that the functions to which the Bill refers would require the setting up of new committees. The functions are to be assigned to committees, as the Oireachtas sees fit.


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