Wednesday, 14 November 2007
Joint Administration Committee: Motion
That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, the Standing Orders of Seanad Éireann relative to Public Business are hereby amended as follows:
(1) in Standing Order 89 by the deletion of paragraphs (1)(c), (1)(e) and (5);
(2) by the adoption of the following as an additional Standing Order relative to public business:
"94A. (1) There shall stand established at the commencement of every Seanad a standing committee which shall be joined with a similar committee of the Dáil to constitute the Joint Administration Committee.
(2) The committee shall represent the views of Members on the provision of services for and by the Houses generally, and may make recommendations thereon to the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission ("the Commission").
(3) Recommendations of the committee shall be subject to—
(a) the sanction of the Commission in relation to the financial implications of such recommendations;
(b) the regulatory authority of the Commission or the Minister for Finance, as provided by law; and
(c) the requirement for efficiency and economy in the use of Commission resources and value for money considerations generally.
(4) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (2), the committee may advise, and make recommendations by way of report to, the Commission, on—
(a) Members' services, including:
(i) secretarial and other facilities;
(ii) library and research services; and
(iii) legal advice services (within the meaning of section 4(2)(e) of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Acts 2003 and 2006).
(b) Accommodation and facilities, including:
(i) the bars, shop and restaurants;
(ii) the conditions or premises in which Members carry out their duties; and
(iii) security and access.
(c) Communications services, including:
(i) education, media relations and public information services; and
(ii) broadcasting (in all its forms) of the proceedings of Seanad Éireann and its committees, including rules of coverage and archive access,
Provided, that in relation to broadcasting, the committee shall:
(I) discharge the necessary monitoring arrangements for in-House televising and for sound and televised broadcasting of Seanad Éireann and its committees;
(II) review and modify the rules of coverage for the televising of proceedings of Seanad Éireann and its committees;
(III) determine rules of access in respect of the archive of proceedings of Seanad Éireann and its committees; and
(IV) determine, subject to the consent of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, from time to time the fees to be payable in respect of broadcasting of proceedings of Seanad Éireann and its committees.
(d) Such other matters as may be referred to the committee by the Commission from time to time.
(5) Every report which the joint committee may make shall be referred to the Commission and its management committee, which may prepare a formal response to the recommendations therein.
(6) The standing committee shall consist of nine Members of Seanad Éireann and shall include the party-group Whips. The quorum of the joint committee shall be five, of whom at least one shall be a Member of Dáil Éireann and one a Member of Seanad Éireann. The joint committee shall include at least one member of the Commission (whether Deputy or Senator). The Chairman of the joint committee shall be a member of Dáil Éireann.
(7) The joint committee shall have the following powers:
(a) power to appoint sub-committees as defined in Standing Order 70(3);
(b) power to engage consultants as defined in Standing Order 70(8); and
(c) power to travel as defined in Standing Order 70(9).
(8) The joint committee shall have power to nominate persons to assist it in its deliberations; and such persons shall attend such meetings as the joint committee may determine.
(9) The joint committee shall report to the Commission on its activities on an annual basis, by 31 December each year."
(3) by the deletion of Standing Orders 95 and 96; and
(4) in Standing Order 97(c) by the deletion of "the Joint Committee on Broadcasting and Parliamentary Information" and the substitution therefor of "the Joint Administration Committee".