Thursday, 5 December 2019
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
The establishment of an Electoral Commission is a key commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government. An Electoral Commission will bring together several electoral functions in an independent, dedicated public body.
The Electoral Commission’s establishment is guided by a number of recent reports and public consultation processes, including:
- the 2016 report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht on the Consultation on the Proposed Electoral Commission; and
- the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) and public consultation concerning the establishment of an Electoral Commission, which was completed my Department earlier this year.
The submissions received as part of these processes expressed support for the establishment of an Electoral Commission on a statutory basis and initial assignment of a limited number of functions, with a view to assigning further functions over time.
The Government approved the establishment of a statutory Electoral Commission on 17 July 2019, and the drafting of the General Scheme of an Electoral Commission Bill is at an advanced stage in my Department. I expect completion of the General Scheme by the end of this month and, subject to the approval of Government to the drafting of the Bill, pre-legislative scrutiny and publication of an Electoral Commission Bill to follow in 2020.