Written Answers. - Commencement Orders.

Ruairí Quinn


187 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the Acts or sections or other provisions of Acts under the auspices of her Department or for the commencement of which her Department is responsible which have not commenced by reason of the fact that a commencement order has not been made; if she has any plans to make such an order in each case; if so, when; the reason for the failure in each case to make such an order to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19630/00]

The position in relation to the question put by the Deputy is as follows:

The Copyright and Related Rights Bill, 2000, which was enacted in July 2000, awaits commencement. It is expected that commencement will take place before the end of the year. The commencement order has not yet been made because it will be necessary to make a number of other orders and regulations prior to commencement in order to ensure that various elements of the legislation are capable of operating in practice. The terms and scope of these orders are currently under consideration.

Section 2(2) of the Competition Act, 1991, provided, inter alia, that different days could be fixed for the repeal for different purposes of any provision of the Restrictive Practices Act, 1972. To date no commencement order has been made providing for the repeal of the Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order, 1987, an order made under the Restrictive Practices Act, 1972.

Recommendation No. 40 of the final report of the Competition and Mergers Review Group, received by me earlier this year was to the effect that the Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order, 1987, be repealed.

I will make my position on that matter known when I have completed my deliberations on the report.

Sections 248 and 249 of the Companies Act, 1990, provide for matters relating to the delivery of documents to the Registrar of Companies in legible and non-legible form. The commencement of section 248 has recently been requested by the Registrar and is being considered. The need to commence section 249 will be reviewed in the light of the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000.
Sections 46 to 52, inclusive, 68(1)(c), 120(5) and 122(1)(f) of the Credit Union Act, 1997, have not yet been commenced. Consideration will be given to their commencement on foot of a request to do so from the Office of the Registrar of Friendly Societies, following that office's discussions, which are ongoing, with the credit union movement.
Commencement orders in respect of sections 18, 19, 20, 36, 37 and 38 of the Industrial Development (Enterprise Ireland) Act, 1998, have not been made. The staff of Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland are currently employees of Forfás on terms and conditions which provide,inter alia, for superannuation benefits. The above provisions would allow for the separate employment by these agencies of their own staff and for necessary provision of superannuation benefits to those staff. I have no immediate plans to bring these provisions into effect. In regard to commencement of section 50 of the Act, transfer of staff from Forfás to NSAI, there are ongoing discussions between all the parties concerned in regard to the transfer of the staff of Forfás, who are currently assigned to the National Metrology Laboratory, to the National Standards Authority of Ireland, which I expect to be completed early next year.
The Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Act, 1998, which was sponsored by the Minister for Public Enterprise, was signed into law by the President on 2 December 1998. Detailed regulations, which are necessary to give operational effect to the provisions of the Act, are currently being prepared by the Health and Safety Authority, in co-operation with my Department and in consultation with all relevant interested parties. The regulations are complex and involve roles and responsibilities for a number of Departments and other public bodies in order to ensure their adequate implementation and enforcement. The preparatory work is now awaiting finalisation of Department of Environment and Local Government input and as soon as the regulations are finalised the necessary order to bring the Act into operation will be made.
Part II of the Dangerous Substances Act, 1972, (No. 10 of 1972) dealing with provisions in relation to the safety of explosives has not been commenced. This part,inter alia, would make the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, rather than the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, responsible for explosives safety and the making of regulations in connection with same. The issue of State security has delayed the commencement order on this Part of the Act.
Section 4 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989, automatically repealed specific provisions of existing enactments on safety and health – Factories Act, 1955, Safety in Industry Act, 1980, Office Premises Act, 1958, Mines and Quarries Act, 1965, Dangerous Substances Acts, 1972 and 1979, and the Safety, Health and Welfare (Offshore Installations) Act, 1987 – from 1 November 1989, both in relation to sections as a whole, or certain provisions relating to penalties. The section, in conjunction with section 1(2), also provides for the repeal of all remaining provisions of these enactments, together with the Boiler Explosions Acts, 1882 and 1890, subject to the making of commencement orders under section 1 (2) of the Act in respect of any of those enactments or any of their provisions.
Three such repeals orders have been made to date including the Safety, Health and Welfare at work (Repeals and Revocations) Order, 1995, (S.I. No. 357 of 1995). This Order,inter alia, repealed the Office Premises Act, 1958, in full and repealed 46 sections in full and seven sections partially of the Factories Act, 1955. The order also revoked 55 sets of regulations in full and partially revoked 12 sets of regulations made under a range of statutes. The purpose of the exercise was to avoid overlapping or duplication between different statutory provisions and to remove enactments that had become obsolete. The legislation is currently under review to identify further provisions that may be considered for repeal at this stage.