Written answers

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Legislative Programme

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will explain his commitment to overhaul the existing statutory framework for ethics to strengthen and reform the current legislation and provide a single, comprehensive ethics framework in line with best international practice; and if he will provide a timeframe within which this commitment will be delivered. [39886/12]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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Following the publication of the Final Report of the Mahon Tribunal in March 2012, I committed to examining how the existing legislative framework for ethics could be reformed to develop a single, comprehensive legislative framework grounded on a clear and comprehensive set of principles. This involves overhauling and reforming the current fragmented legislative framework and to strengthening it by resolving anomalies, building on international best practice and addressing the recommendations relating to conflicts of interest made by the Mahon Tribunal.

Work is under way in my Department on this significant legislative project and preliminary consultations have been undertaken with public bodies with a direct interest in this initiative. On account of the various approvals required from Government in relation to the preparation of legislation as well as the need to take into consideration the degree of complexity of the legislative and policy issues involved as well as the possible need for public consultation and a pre-legislative scrutiny process by the Oireachtas, the Deputy will understand it is not possible to provide precise timeframe for the publication of a Bill. However, I expect my Department to have draft legislative proposals developed by the middle of 2013.

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