Written Answers. - Civil Registration Service.

Billy Timmins

Question:

542 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the reason consideration was not given to the recommendations made by the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations, in its submission under the May 2001 public consultation, Bringing Civil Registration into the 21st Century, in view of Part 5, items 4 and 8, and Part 6, item 1 of the Schedule of the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2002; the position in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9051/02]

The reform of legislation pertaining to civil registration is an integral part of the modernisation programme for the civil registration service. The purpose of the provisions, in the Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2002, is to facilitate the electronic registration of births and deaths and the electronic issue of certificates.

All submissions received, including that of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations, have been considered in framing the legislation. With regard to item 4, Part 5 of the Schedule of the above mentioned Bill it should be noted that the Bill provides for the computerisation of the records and indexes dating back to 1845 for marriages and 1864 for births and deaths. When completed this system will remove the access restrictions which currently apply to paper based records thereby allowing simultaneous access by a number of parties to registration data and will also ensure that an accurate and up to date index of life events is available. The new electronic database of life events will provide a level of service which would not be possible in a paper based system.

With regard to the other recommendations put forward in relation to item 8 of Part 5 of the Schedule to the Bill these will be considered in the context of the Report Stage of the Bill.