Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Seanad Public Petitions Committee: Motion
That Seanad Éireann approves the adoption of the following terms of reference for the Seanad Public Petitions Committee (SPPC), established under Standing Orders 92-95 and in accordance with the Report of the Sub-Committee of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges on the Establishment of a Public Petitions Committee:
1. The SPPC shall have the same membership as the Seanad Committee of Selection.
2. The Leas-Chathaoirleach of the Seanad shall be ex officio Chairperson of the SPPC. The quorum of the SPPC shall be five.
3. The SPPC shall specify and publicise a particular area related to the legislative powers of the Seanad or to an issue of public policy on which petitions will be invited in each sitting term of the Seanad.
4. A deadline for the submission of petitions to the SPPC shall also be specified and publicised in each sitting term.
5. The SPPC shall sit in private in the first instance to decide upon the particular area upon which it will invite the submission of petitions.
6. Once petitions have been submitted, the SPPC shall again sit in private to consider whether petitions submitted are admissible and to consider further what action to take in relation to admissible petitions.
7. Private sittings of the SPPC shall take place in one of the Committee Rooms.
8. Where the SPPC considers it appropriate to hear from a petitioner or petitioners directly in respect of a petition submitted to it, it shall arrange for the holding of a public session.
9. Such public sessions, which one or more petitioners may be invited to address, and which members of the public may attend, may be held in the Seanad chamber outside of sitting times and may be televised.
10. These terms of reference to be read in conjunction with Seanad Standing Orders 92-95.''.