Written answers

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Department of An Taoiseach

Seanad Reform

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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91. To ask the Taoiseach if he will report on his Department's statement of strategy on implementing in full the Manning report on Seanad Éireann; and the status of same. [48744/17]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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In the Programme for a Partnership Government, the Government stated its commitment to pursuing the implementation of the Report of the Working Group on Seanad Reform (the Manning Report) and I intend to honour this commitment.

One of the recommendations of the Report, published in 2015, was the establishment of an Implementation Group to oversee implementation of the reforms contained in the Report.

As my predecessor previously said in the House, he agreed with a suggestion made some time ago by Deputy Martin that this Group should be based in the Oireachtas and should comprise members of the Dáil and Seanad from all parties and groups, with access to independent expert advice as required. He wrote to Party Leaders in September last year seeking their agreement to this approach and their intention to participate.

I would like to progress this and have asked Minister of State John Paul Phelan to engage with the Parties.


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