Thursday, 8 October 2020
Estimates for Public Services 2020
These are matters that are somewhat outside the remit of the Minister. They are procedural issues. When the Estimates are published and distributed to the members of the select committee, they are also made available to Members of the House. Some may not be in the habit of studying Estimates documents that are sent to them but they were distributed. In addition, this morning, after Deputies raised concerns about this, we asked that a briefing note be circulated to Members in advance of this session.
I assume they have got that. It was to set out the issues that arose at the committee meeting and the proposals that had been made.
I further accept that Deputy Boyd Barrett makes a reasonable point about process, but it is not something that the Minister can deal with here. It applies to all committees. Perhaps a Dáil reform committee or the Business Committee needs to examine the process around how Members have ready access to the maximum relevant information. In this instance, we are simply being asked to approve retrospectively money that has been vital to this Minister to support her various areas of initiative.