Written Answers. - Regulatory Reform.

John Bruton

Question:

433 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will make a statement on the adoption or otherwise by his Department of the recommendations made in the OECD review, Regulatory Reform in Ireland; and the concrete steps taken by his Department in pursuit of these recommendations since the publication of the report. [10793/03]

The Deputy will be aware that my Department was established in June 2002 bringing together a range of functions previously under the remit of five different Government Departments. While my Department is not represented on the high level group on regulation, established by the Government in response to the OECD's report on regulatory reform in Ireland, my Department will continue to pursue the better regulation agenda in relation to legislative proposals which will be brought forward as the need arises.

As I have already indicated in replies to recent Parliamentary Questions, the enactment of the Official Languages (Equality) Bill 2002 is the main legislative priority of my Department at present. This Bill has been published and has now completed Committee Stage in Seanad Éireann. In addition, my Department also has responsibility for giving effect to the commitment under An Agreed Programme for Government, that: "A comprehensive reform of the law relating to charities will be enacted to ensure accountability and to protect against abuse of charitable status and fraud". Work is currently in train so that legislative proposals to give effect to this commitment will be brought forward early in 2004.