Wednesday, 9 March 2005
Department of An Taoiseach
Question 137: To ask the Taoiseach the practice in his Department relating to the identification for legal and administrative purposes of his Department as an entity separate and distinct from his own legal personality as Taoiseach, indicating whether contracts or other legal rights or liabilities are entered into, accepted or enjoyed in the name of his Department rather than in his own name; if so, the nature of those contracts, rights and liabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8169/05]
The Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 and the Public Service Management Act 1997 set out clearly the legal position of Government Ministers and Departments. Section 3 of the Public Service Management Act 1997 restates the responsibility of Ministers for the performance of functions which are assigned to their Department. Section 2(1) of the Act of 1924 provides that each Minister shall be a corporation sole and shall have perpetual succession and an official seal, and may sue and be sued, and may acquire, hold and dispose of land for the purposes of the functions, powers or duties of the Department of State of which he or she is head or of any branch thereof.
Contracts and all other legal rights or liabilities of my Department, therefore, are either entered into, accepted or enjoyed in the name of the Taoiseach or on behalf of the Taoiseach.