In dealing with this Bill before the Easter recess I had explained the reason I was deleting subsections (4) and (5), the effect of which would be to leave the law as it stood. I further explained that difficulties had arisen in the past. The requirement of the medical bureau to send a copy of the certificate to the person who provided the specimen gave rise to those difficulties. While it is not a statutory requirement, the bureau by registered post, issues all results of analysis. If a certificate issued in this way fails to be delivered, it is returned to the local post office for a few days in case it is called for and, if not collected, is returned to the bureau. From the bureau it is then sent to the Garda Síochána for delivery by hand. Up to 10 per cent of all certificates issued by registered post fail to be delivered. For example, in 1991 when a total of 7,806 specimens were received, approximately 830 envelopes were returned to the bureau as being undelivered by registered post. The bureau maintain that in most of these cases the reason is that the individuals concerned, knowing the contents of the letter, simply refuse to sign for or accept delivery.
The provisions of subsections (4) and (5) were originally to overcome this difficulty and to do away with the procedure where undelivered certificates are subsequently delivered by hand by the Garda. These subsections were intended to provide that proof of postage of the copy of the certificate to the person from whom the specimen was taken would be sufficient compliance with the requirement in subsection (3). Legal advice however, indicated that the new subsections would not be advisable because they seem to confer a new requirement on the bureau to prove delivery and as a result could create a new problem for the bureau. We are allowing the existing law to stand and deleting the subsections which were originally intended to deal with a problem, which arising from recent court decisions are no longer necessary.