Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Criminal Justice Bill 2011: Committee and Remaining Stages
Alan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
I apologise to the Senator for not responding to that yesterday. The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Howlin, has responsibility for producing the general whistleblower legislation, which is to apply across the public sector. We are conscious that what I describe as fragmented whistleblower provisions are already in existence in different Acts enacted by the Houses of the Oireachtas. In a sense, what we are doing in today's Bill is to introduce a specifically focused whistleblower protection provision, which will form part of what could, in a few days' time, be described as the fragmented spread of whistleblower legislation. The Department for which the Minister, Deputy Howlin, is responsible is examining bringing it together in one comprehensive whistleblower Bill, which the Government believes, if possible, is desirable. Because of the heavy legislative schedule it will be published, if not before the end of this year, we hope, early next year. I would not say it will be published in the early autumn; it will be towards the end of this year or early next year. Work has been commenced on its preparation.