Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Technological Universities Bill 2015: Report Stage
Section 3 provides that an order of the Minister to merge institutes of technology under section 18, to establish a technological university under section 46 or to incorporate an institute of technology into a technological university under section 53 shall require a positive resolution of each House of the Oireachtas before it can be made by the Minister. Because those sections give the Minister broad authority to merge institutions which are not specifically identified in the Bill, this requirement ensures that the Oireachtas cannot be found to have delegated excessive powers to the Minister in that regard. Obviously, the other two groups are specifically referred to in the Bill. Sections 7 and 10 provide for the making of orders by the Minister to give effect to the mergers in Dublin and Munster. In both of those cases, the Oireachtas, in passing this Bill, will have specifically identified these institutes of technologies involved and, therefore, will have simply delegated to the Minister the power to implement the mergers it has identified. Therefore, it cannot be argued that the Minister has been given excessive authority by the Oireachtas, and there would be no need for the Houses of the Oireachtas to approve the orders in those cases. It is really to distinguish between those that are specifically mentioned in the Bill - that is, the Munster and Dublin mergers - and the ones that are not specifically mentioned in the Bill, which are presumably the other two regions that have currently indicated their interest, as well as other regions in the future.