Tuesday, 5 July 2016
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Electoral Commission Establishment
263. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he envisions an electoral commission in the lifetime of the Government or if he has a proposed timeline or target date for establishment of an electoral commission. [19651/16]
In 2015, on the basis of a consultation paper prepared by my Department, and at the invitation of the then Minister, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht undertook a public consultation process on the establishment of an electoral commission. The Committee published a report on the consultation in January 2016. This report contains a series of recommendations regarding the establishment of an electoral commission, including functions which should be assigned to it; independence, membership and accountability mechanisms; and the establishment process. The report will inform the implementation of the commitment in A Programme for a Partnership Government on establishing an electoral commission. I am not in a position at this point to indicate a definitive timeline for the establishment of an electoral commission, which will bring a fundamentally changed approach to the management and administration of elections and will require detailed consideration and analysis prior to legislating for its establishment; the matter is, however, currently under consideration in my Department.