Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 3 June 2021
Select Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government
Land Development Agency Bill 2021: Committee Stage (Resumed)
I will first address Amendments Nos. 59, 63, 65 and 68, as tabled by Deputies Boyd Barrett, Gino Kenny, Paul Murphy, Bríd Smith and Barry. These amendments seek to substitute references to the LDA in this section for local authorities. I am opposing them because the proposal is not relevant to the Bill.
Section 8 provides that the Minister can at any stage require the LDA to report to him or her on the LDA's progress in achieving the purposes of the legislation. In addition, the LDA will be required to report to the Minister on its progress on a periodic basis, with the first report due in 2024. As the purposes of this Bill directly relate the LDA and its functions, it is necessary for the agency to compile this report and would not be applicable for local authorities to carry out this role.
I will also address amendment No. 61, as jointly tabled by Deputies Ó Broin and Gould and amendment No. 62, as tabled by Deputy Cian O'Callaghan. Amendments Nos. 61 and 62 seek to substitute the provision in section 8 that the report that the LDA is required to submit to the Minister on the achievement of the purposes of the Act should be prepared annually instead of every five years. While I understand the intention behind the proposed amendment, I am opposing these amendments, as the provision for an annual report is already included at section 47. In addition, the acquisition and development of land can take a period of time so it is not appropriate that this report is done on an annual basis. It should be noted that the report by the LDA specified in section 8(2) is required by 31 March 2024 and every five years thereafter will be laid before each House of the Oireachtas. In addition, under section 8, the Minister can at any stage require the LDA to report to him or her on the LDA's progress in achieving the purposes of the Bill. In addition, the LDA will be required to report to the Minister on its progress on a periodic basis, with the first report due in 2024.
Under section 47, the LDA is already required to furnish the Minster with an annual report by 30 June each year. This annual report will be drafted in line with the provisions of the code of practice for the governance of State bodies. As the provision at section 47 already requires the LDA to publish an annual report the report furnished under section 8 is appropriately requested every five years.