Building Control Bill 2005: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.

Amendment No. 11 is in the name of the Minister. Amendments Nos. 12, 72, 95, 117 and 127 are related, and may be discussed together. Is that agreed? Agreed.

I move amendment No. 11:

In page 6, between lines 27 and 28, to insert the following:

""poor professional performance", in relation to a registered professional, means any failure of the registered professional to meet the standards of competence that may reasonably be expected of registered professionals practising the profession concerned;".

This amendment becomes necessary following amendments made on Committee Stage that added the term "poor professional performance" to the scope of behaviour to be regulated by the professional conduct committee. Before the Committee Stage amendment, the scope of the section was confined to professional misconduct. It is now necessary to add this term in section 24 so that in any hearing of an appeal before the High Court, the evidence of any person of standing in the architectural profession may be admitted on what constitutes poor professional performance, as is the case with professional misconduct. The two terms are defined in section 2, which deals with interpretation.

These amendments transfer the definitions of "poor professional performance" and "professional misconduct" regarding a registered professional from section 58 of the Bill as inserted on Committee Stage to section 1, as the definitions are required in the Bill, otherwise than in Part 6.

The Minister of State defines "poor professional conduct". Perhaps he might read out that definition from section 2.

Regarding amendment No. 11, the important key words are "professional" and "competence". From that perspective, we must ensure that those working in the trade are extremely professional, and the same goes for competence. I would say that generally, regarding doctors and teachers as well as architects. We must have certain standards in such situations. On amendment No. 11, I urge those directly involved in planning and development to listen extremely carefully to disability groups such as the Disability Federation of Ireland, DFI, and the Irish Wheelchair Association, IWA, when they produce sensible proposals on the Building Control Bill 2005. I urge the Minister to pay great attention. I have been asked to raise this by Deputy Harkin, MEP, and Deputy McHugh, who strongly support the IWA and the DFI on this issue.

On amendment No. 11, when one speaks of poor professional performance on the part of a registered professional, one means any failure on his or her part to meet standards of competence that may be reasonably expected of registered professionals practising the profession concerned. What we mean is competence and standards in the profession, and I welcome the amendment.

I have used this phrase before on another matter. It has often been said that the professions are a conspiracy against the laity. What constitutes poor professional performance? We have encountered architects who have insisted on speaking to one at one's house, after which one is billed for an on-site meeting. As with all professions, it should be very clear to the customer exactly what it is involved, what one is getting, and what one will be charged for. That is true of the legal and every other profession. I ask that it be made clear to customers, all of us who avail ourselves of such services. There should be a stronger definition.

In response to Deputy O'Dowd, the definition in amendment No. 11 is as follows.

Perhaps I might check the page, which I cannot find.

It is on page 6. The Deputy will see the Minister has provided a definition in amendment No. 11. It will be a matter for the professional conduct committee to assess any complaints lodged. In response to Deputy Finian McGrath, we are, by and large, taking into account the issues the IWA raised regarding this Bill. The registration body will adopt the code of conduct, and issues raised by Deputy Gormley are matters of contract. They can be dealt with as they arise and are brought to the registration body's attention.

I have no problem with what the Minister of State intends, but I am not totally satisfied that the word "poor" is sufficiently clear, notwithstanding the definition given. The term is subjective. One teacher may feel that an essay is poor, but another might find it excellent. When one gets into such conflicts, the courts ultimately decide for or against a professional. Perhaps we might tease that out a little more.

I will take up the points made by the other Deputies. Other parties, including people who are not architects, might form a very strong view that something is poor. What involvement from people other than architects themselves would the Minister of State encourage in the process?

The registration body itself will clearly define and adopt a code of conduct. It will then be a matter for the professional conduct committee to assess any complaints made to it. Obviously, it must ensure absolute fair play for everyone in his or her final assessment.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 12 has already been discussed with Amendment No. 11.

I move Amendment No. 12:

In page 6, between lines 32 and 33, to insert the following:

""professional misconduct", in relation to a registered professional, means any act, omission or pattern of conduct of the registered professional that—

(a) is in breach of the code prepared by the relevant registration body, or

(b) if the registered professional has been granted by a body established in a state, other than the State, a licence, certificate or registration relating to the practice of the profession concerned, is a breach of the standard of conduct or performance that applies to a person holding that licence, certificate or registration and that corresponds to a standard in the code referred to in paragraph (a);”.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 13 has already been discussed with Amendment No. 4.

I move Amendment No. 13:

In page 7, between lines 14 and 15, to insert the following:

""World Trade Organisation" means the organisation established under the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organisation.".

Amendment agreed to.
Bill recommitted in respect of amendment No. 14.

I move Amendment No. 14:

In page 7, between lines 28 and 29, to insert the following:

4.—Section 3 of the Act of 1990 is amended in subsection (2)—

(a) in paragraph (e), by substituting “practice;” for “practice; and”, and

(b) by inserting the following paragraph after paragraph (e):

"(ea) making provision for building practices that would assist in preventing or detecting crime; and”.

This amendment to the Building Control Act 1990 is to clarify that building regulations may be made to provide for good building practice to help in the prevention or detection of crime. The Department proposes to insert a new Part M, security of buildings, in the Buildings Regulation 1997, SI 497 of 1997, which would set out a general security requirement for doors, including locks, and windows, including glazing, so that they would comply with minimum security requirements. Detailed guidance on how to comply with the Part M requirement would be set out in a new technical guidance document to be drawn up by my Department. I am including this amendment at the request of the national crime prevention office of the Garda Síochána which made representations to me to provide for improved security of doors and windows in dwellings under the national building regulations. I wholeheartedly agreed with the request and that is why I have moved this amendment.

I welcome the amendment and the commitment the Minister of State has made. In making new regulations, will he specifically consider dwellings that are expressly built for old people? Notwithstanding the Minister of State's commitment which I welcome and support, there ought to be a higher standard for dwellings, known as OPDs, specifically built for pensioners. Such dwellings must be constructed to the highest possible standard. Alarm systems should be part and parcel of the building regulations, so that local authorities or others erecting such houses would have to install them. While this can only apply to OPDs specifically designated in the planning permission, the Minister of State should expressly consider the issue. In addition, he should examine the provision of suitable dwellings for the disabled.

I thank the Deputy for his intervention and I assure him that we will take all those points into account when making the regulations.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill reported with amendment.

Amendment No. 15 is out of order.

I wish to recommit this amendment.

We had an agreement to recommit it.

We agreed that we could do so.

Acting Chairman

Ar aghaidh leat.

Bill recommitted in respect of amendment No. 15.

I move amendment No. 15:

In page 7, between lines 28 and 29, to insert the following:

4.—The Act of 1990 is amended in section 3 by the insertion of the following after subsection (13):

"(14) No work shall commence on any construction before due consideration has been given to the inclusion of third party consultation in all major public developments.".".

Ba mhaith liom é a chur faoi bhráid an Aire. Tá sé tábhachtach go dtarlódh an díospóireacht seo. We have received representations from disability groups, including the Irish Wheelchair Association, seeking further consultation on this matter.

The amendment proposes that public consultation should take place before construction commences on all major public developments. Ireland's planning system is one of the most open and transparent in Europe. Members of the public are already afforded significant consultation rights under the Planning and Development Acts 2000-06, and more specifically under the Planning and Development Regulations 2001. Most State developments require planning permission and those that do not are subject to an alternative public consultation process. Local authorities' developments are also to be subject to public consultation and therefore I see no need for a further public consultation process under this Bill.

Amendment No. 17 proposes that an access statement be submitted along with the planning application. While I understand the Deputy's intention, I am unable to accept this amendment. The model followed is that for fire safety certificates. It would complicate the planning system too much to require that access statements — and, by extension, fire safety certificate applications — be included as part of a planning application. A developer is required to obtain all three. The various disciplines required for the effective operation of each of the different regulatory codes are quite distinct. Therefore I think Deputy O'Dowd's amendment, in trying to improve the synergies between both codes, could compromise that effectiveness. We should continue to allow the relevant expertise on either side to continue to optimise their resources. I ask the Deputy to withdraw the amendment.

I will not withdraw my amendment. I wish to put it to a vote. Notwithstanding everything the Minister of State has said, organisations representing those who suffer from disabilities would like to have a greater role in the statutory regulation of this area. I accept what the Minister of State said about some buildings but there are other ones that do not have proper access for disabled people. I ask the Minister of State to reconsider this matter and if he has further information to give me I will be happy to listen to what he has to say.

We are committed to a major updating of regulations on access for people with disabilities. Hopefully therefore we will be able to take much of what the Deputy has said into account in that updating process.

I welcome what the Minister of State has said. To take an example in my constituency, there is no proper disability access to Drogheda Post Office. It is very difficult for disabled people to get in there. I am not talking just about physical access to buildings, but also the urban environment in towns, including footpaths, which may not be properly structured for the disabled. There are very few towns or buildings with adequate access for people with disabilities. For the most part, they cannot get around in their wheelchairs independently. This is a major issue but the Minister of State is not doing enough about it. We should seek the views of organisations representing the disabled and they should have a statutory right of access. I accept what he has said about changing the regulations but I am still deeply concerned about this issue. I will push this amendment to a voice vote.

Acting Chairman

Tá go maith. Decision time has been reached.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Bill reported without amendment.

Acting Chairman

Amendment No. 16 arises from committee proceedings.

I move amendment No. 16:

In page 9, line 30, to delete "to" and substitute "to, and use of,".

This subsection provides for the introduction of a disability access certificate for access to a building. The building control authority would grant such a certificate if, in its opinion, the design of the building as submitted was in compliance with the relevant requirements of the building regulations, which is Part M — access for people with disabilities. This amendment would require a certificate for access to and use of a building. I do not believe the amendment is necessary. Part M(1) of the regulations already requires that adequate provisions shall be made to enable people with disabilities to safely and independently access and use a building. The building control authority would certify this. Therefore, I do not propose to accept the amendment as I do not consider it necessary in the circumstances as outlined.

I disagree with the Minister of State over the word "adequate". It is a subjective word because who is to say that something is adequate? The disability organisations have a clear view that the legislation is not adequate in this regard and they have serious ongoing concerns about it. One way around this issue is to have advocates for disability with regard to all such plans. The amendment seeks that due consideration should be given to include third party consultation on all major public developments. This is a broad issue and the people who would advocate on behalf of the disabled should be consulted as part of the process as a right. Many people, including ourselves, make decisions relating to disability and we should be required to consult advocates, though I know it is not possible to write to the disability federations for their views in every case. Every local authority should have disability officers who would have an input in these issues and would be sole advocates for disabled and elderly people who have the same capacity as all of us. The use of the word adequate is what concerns me.

It depends on the interpretation one places on the word adequate because the Bill goes on to state that it will enable people with disabilities to safely and independently access and use buildings.

Who decides that?

This can be interpreted as meaning all of these elements will be put in place to ensure this is possible. We are engaged in a process of consultation with people with disabilities on regulations and we are taking this process seriously. It is our intention to accommodate, as far as possible, all of the misgivings that exist.

On the question of all major developments, how many times in the Minister of State's town and my town have we seen people in wheelchairs who cannot use the footpaths. They use their electric wheelchairs on the main road because they cannot access the footpaths and buildings like everyone else. I stress the need for proper advocacy and, while I acknowledge the Minister of State's integrity in using the word adequate, I do not think it is strong enough. I do not think the rights of people with disabilities are strong enough in this legislation and this concerns me deeply.

Access to public buildings is covered under the Disability Act 2005. I do not believe it necessary to carry this amendment and ask the deputy to withdraw it.

Question, "That the words proposed to be deleted stand", put and declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendment No. 17 not moved.

Acting Chairman

Amendments Nos. 18 and 19 arise out of committee proceedings and shall be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 18:

In page 9, to delete lines 57 to 59 and in page 10, to delete lines 1 to 19 and substitute the following:

"(xi) that all new building, or existing buildings in respect of which an extension or a material alteration has been made, shall not be opened, operated or occupied or permitted to be opened, operated or occupied, unless a fire safety certificate and disability access certificate (or, as the case may require, a revised or regularised certificate of either kind) has been granted by the building control authority;".

I am standing in for my colleague Deputy Cuffe, who tabled this amendment. The aim of this amendment is clear and this is something we feel strongly about. We have higher standards than elsewhere in the European Union and this has something to do with our experience of the Stardust fire. A fire safety certificate is a requirement for any alteration and any new building. I see that the Minister of State is nodding in agreement and hope he will accept this amendment.

The same applies to disability access. I hosted a colleague from the Belgian Green Party recently and he felt that the level of access to this building for the disabled, particularly Leinster House 2000, is not bad. Elsewhere in the city there were difficulties and we have a great deal of catching up to do. If we want equality we must start with our buildings. So much of what can be achieved in this regard is contained in this type of legislation. It is important that we do not ignore the issue, that we start with the basics and I ask the Minister of State, on principle, to accept these amendments. They make sense in terms of safety and equality.

This Bill imposes an additional administrative burden on local authorities as we are moving back from self-regulation to a point where we ask local authorities to require provision of and sign off on a certificate indicating that a building is compliant in respect of regulations. It may be argued that this is a case of belt and braces but this is a reasonable amendment in terms of the issues we are addressing and I am curious to know whether the local authorities have expressed an opinion on this and its implications. My amendment is constructive, it is a public safeguard, it seeks an intervention by the administration on the public side, rather than self certification on the other side and I urge the Minister of State to consider it.

Deputy Cuffe's amendment refers to section 4(c) and this subsection provides for the prohibition of the opening, operation or occupation of a building that has not got a fire safety certificate, a disability access certificate, a revised certificate of either kind or a regularisation certificate if required or where any of the certificates are the subject of an appeal to An Bord Pleanála that has yet to be determined. Deputy Cuffe’s amendment substitutes “and” for “or” so that the section would read “which has not a fire safety certificate and disability access certificate”.

Deputy Cuffe requested clarification on Committee Stage as to whether the use of the word "or" could be defined as meaning "and" in this subsection. I have sought clarification on this from the Parliamentary Counsel and am advised that in this instance the word could mean either "or" or "and" or both as required in the circumstances. I hope Deputy Gormley can accept that this amendment is unnecessary.

Deputy Quinn's amendment would require local building control authorities to inspect all completed buildings and certify that they comply with parts A to M of the building regulations. Local building control authorities simply do not have the manpower resources to operate such a system. The primary onus for ensuring compliance with building regulations should rest on the designers, builders and owners of buildings. This is why I favour a close look at the recommendations for the introduction of a system of self certification by designers and builders as suggested in a working party report by the main building professionals' organisations. I have already committed to examining the feasibility of such a system once the building control Bill is enacted. I regret that I cannot accept this amendment in the circumstances.

These are good amendments and I support them. I raised a key issue on Second and Committee Stages that fire safety officers have made the point that a significant number of local authorities have not inspected many of the buildings in Ireland for fire safety or method of construction. There is a serious concern that this situation could lead to a tragedy. There may be apartment buildings that have not been built to any standards and the local authority may be satisfied with this. These amendments will create a greater degree of action on these issues. The Minister of State is talking about self regulation and, while I do not doubt the professional integrity of those involved, we have buildings that do not meet fire safety regulations and for which a fire safety certificate has never even been sought. This is a serious situation and we must ensure it is addressed in this legislation.

We have, by and large, provided the clarification sought by Deputy Cuffe. On the second point, while it could form the subject of a major debate, a working party report has issued a recommendation on the matter. Given that the Department is examining the feasibility of the recommendation, it should be debated on another day.

Does the current provision not give retrospective consent to works that have not been inspected and about which concerns have been raised? The key point is that the Bill will allow people who have not conformed with the law to avoid sanction retrospectively by escaping through a gap in the inspection regime.

I am aware of the conclusions of the working party to which the Minister of State refers. Given the balance of obligations and rights, the application of resources and the need to operate society efficiently, self-regulation has many attractions. It will only work, however, if it is accompanied by sanctions, as is the case with self-regulation in the taxation system. Prior to the reform of our taxation system, the heavy level of scrutiny employed was found to be bureaucratic and frequently inaccurate. While I welcome in principle the idea of self-regulation and the capacity of professional regulatory bodies to remove the title of architect or surveyor if deliberate malpractice is found, the edifice will only come together if the sum is greater than the individual parts. This will require a commitment on the part of local authorities or a building inspectorate to allocate resources to ensure a random sample of perhaps 5% of all works is inspected. The proportion does not have to be large.

If it is found that a professional has signed off on a certificate which is blatantly dishonest and has placed members of the public at risk, disciplinary action should automatically follow. Such an approach would protect the 98% of professionals who must charge for the provision of these types of services and thereby run the risk of being undercut by cowboys who continue to operate because a scrutiny system is not in place to identify them. I ask the Minister of State to agree to examine this matter on the basis of the working party recommendations and to establish some type of inspectorate. I will leave it to the Department, resources permitting, to decide on the most appropriate form. Self-regulation will not work without sanctions.

We will take into account the Deputy's comments, which were well-made, when examining the issue of self-regulation. The Bill establishes a process of regularisation under which works will be subject to inspection and more stringent conditions will be imposed before a regularisation certificate issues.

Question, "That the words proposed to be deleted stand", put and declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendment No. 19 not moved.

I move amendment No. 20:

In page 11, to delete lines 3 to 8 and substitute the following:

"(i) by inserting after subsection (2) the following:

"(2A) References in subsection (2)(a)(iv) to (xi) to a material alteration of a building include references to a material change of use of a building and, for the purposes of those provisions as they apply in relation to such a material change of use, references in those provisions to—

(a) work,

(b) relevant works, or

(c) the design of works,

shall, in so far as they are applicable to such a material change of use, be construed as references to—

(i) the doing of the acts that constitute the material change of use or, as appropriate, those acts when they are done, or

(ii) in the case of references to the design of works, the various aspects of the material change of use or, as appropriate, any particular aspect of that change of use,

and references to construction of works and cognate references shall be construed accordingly.".".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 21:

In page 11, to delete lines 18 to 48, to delete pages 12 and 13 and in page 14, to delete lines 1 to 35.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 22 to 26, inclusive, not moved.
Bill recommitted in respect of amendment No. 27.

I move amendment No. 27:

In page 16, between lines 28 and 29, to insert the following:

8.—The Act of 1990 is amended in section 8(4) by the insertion of the following after paragraph (b):

"(c) require the person or persons served with the notice, to refund to the Building Control Authority the costs and expenses reasonably incurred by the Authority in relation to the investigation, detection and issue of the enforcement notice concerned and any warnings including costs incurred in respect of the remuneration and other expenses of employees, consultants and advisers, and the Building Control Authority may recover these costs and expenses incurred by it in that behalf.”.”.

This amendment addresses the issue of who must pay for non-compliance. It requires that the person or persons served with the notice refund to the building control authority the costs and expenses reasonably incurred by the authority in the investigation, detection and issue of the enforcement notice concerned and any warnings, including costs incurred in respect of the remuneration and other expenses of employees, consultants and advisers, and the building control authority may recover these costs and expenses. In the event that a local authority or the building control authority incurs considerable expense while investigating non-compliance with building regulations, those served with a notice should pay the costs.

Carrying out the checks required as part of retrospective authorisation of works could be an expensive procedure. Theoretically, an investigation of a structure could result in the building control authority incurring expensive consultancy fees to determine the nature of any breach of the regulations. The amendment proposes to fix the due cost on the person who has not fully complied with regulations.

I support the amendment.

While I understand the purpose of Deputy O'Dowd's amendment, with which I agree in principle, I am advised that were I to accept it, further wording would be needed to ensure the building control authority would be empowered to collect such costs. For this reason, I cannot accept the amendment.

It is unacceptable for the Minister of State to agree with the amendment while refusing to accept it. He accepts, for example, that the building control authority could incur substantial costs in policing and enforcing the regulations. In theory, these costs could run into hundreds of thousands or even millions of euro if the authority is required to employ experts or inspect a cross-section of a building. The Minister of State's point appears to be that the amendment's weakness lies in the failure to use the words "to collect". Will he explain the problem regarding collection? If the Bill passes, I assume the building control authority will have a right to effect the recovery of costs in the courts.

I have a particular difficulty with this amendment in that it was disallowed and we did not, therefore, give it any consideration. Were we to accept it, additional wording would be required in regard to the connectional costs and all the data that go with it. In the circumstances in which it is recommitted, I cannot accept the amendment in its present form. We could, however, consider it when the Bill goes to the Seanad.

I will be satisfied if the Minister of State does so. We both agree the principle ought to be enshrined in legislation. I am happy for the wording to be perfected for consideration in the Seanad.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Bill reported without amendment.

Amendments Nos. 28, 29 and 31 are related, while amendment No. 30 is an alternative to amendment No. 29. These amendments may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 28:

In page 16, to delete lines 29 and 30 and substitute the following:

"8.—Section 12 of the Act of 1990 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1) by substituting “the building control authority concerned may apply to the High Court or the Circuit Court for an order” for “the building control authority concerned may apply to the High Court for an order”,

(b) by inserting the following after subsection (1):”.

The Bill, as published, provided that building control authorities could apply to the High Court in regard to certain enforcement matters. The Minister, Deputy Roche, promised Deputy Quinn on Committee Stage that he would give careful consideration to the latter's amendment to provide for the right of application by a building control authority under section 12 of the Building Control Act 1990 to the Circuit Court in addition to the High Court for an order for the removal, alteration or discontinuance of work, restricting or prohibiting the use of a building or the making safe of a building where there is a health and safety risk to the public arising from the works carried out.

Careful consideration was given to the amendment. I agree there is a merit in a building authority having the option to choose whether to go to the High Court or Circuit Court. Application to the Circuit Court would be less expensive for the authority. I am pleased to include this provision in the Bill.

Section 8 of the Bill was amended on Committee Stage to provide for an amendment to section 12 of the Building Control Act 1990 by providing for applications to the High Court by a building control authority where works have been commenced or completed without a fire safety certificate, disability access certificate or regularisation certificate, where such certificate is required, or where there has not been compliance with an enforcement notice, for an order restricting or prohibiting the use of the building until such certificates are granted.

My amendment No. 30 provides that building control authorities may go to either the Circuit Court or High Court, whichever is more cost effective. I will withdraw this amendment in favour of amendment No. 29, which has the same effect.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 29:

In page 16, lines 46 and 47, to delete "may apply to the High Court for an order" and substitute the following:

"may apply to the High Court or the Circuit Court for an order".

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 30 not moved.

I move amendment No. 31:

In page 17, to delete lines 1 and 2 and substitute the following:

"complied with or the enforcement notice has been complied with.",

(c) in subsection (2) by substituting “and where such an application is made, the High Court or the Circuit Court, as the case may be, may” for “and where such an application is made, the High Court may”,

(d) in subsection (3) by substituting “Any order made by the High Court or the Circuit Court under this section” for “Any order made by the High Court under this section”, and

(e) by inserting the following after subsection (3):

"(4) (a) An application under this section to the Circuit Court shall be made to the judge of the Circuit Court for the circuit in which the land which is the subject of the application is situated.

(b) The Circuit Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine an application under this section where the market value of the land which is the subject of the application does not exceed €3,000,000.

(c) The Circuit Court may, for the purposes of paragraph (b), in relation to land that has not been given a market value or is the subject with other land of a market value, determine that its market value would exceed, or would not exceed, €3,000,000.

(d) Where the market value of any land which is the subject of an application under this section exceeds €3,000,000, the Circuit Court shall, if an application is made to it in that behalf by any person having an interest in the proceedings, transfer the proceedings to the High Court, but any order made or act done in the course of such proceedings before the transfer shall be valid unless discharged or varied by the High Court by order.

(e) In this subsection ‘market value’ means, in relation to land, the price that would have been obtained in respect of the unencumbranced fee simple were the land to have been sold on the open market, in the year immediately preceding the bringing of the proceedings concerned, in such manner and subject to such conditions as might reasonably be calculated to have resulted in the vendor obtaining the best price for the land.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Acting Chairman

Amendment No. 32 in the name of Deputy O'Dowd is out of order because it does not arise out of committee proceedings.

This amendment relates to the one I have proposed to deal with in the Seanad.

I will withdraw it on that basis.

Amendment No. 32 not moved.

Amendment No. 33 is also out of order because it does not arise of out committee proceedings.

I propose to recommit this amendment.

I will accept the recommital of amendments Nos. 33 and 34.

Bill recommitted in respect of amendments Nos. 33 and 34.

I move amendment No. 33:

In page 17, between lines 6 and 7, to insert the following:

"(b) in subsection (2)(a) by substituting “€25,000” for “£800”,”.

A fine of €25,000 seems more appropriate than one of €800 where somebody is in breach of the legislation.

The fines that apply under the building code are being substantially increased under the terms of this Bill, from €800 to €5,000 and from €10,000 to €25,000, for example. While the level of fines a court can impose is an important signal, it is probably better to ensure, through enforcement, that cases do not go to court.

The major deterrent under this Bill is the fact that a building cannot be occupied unless it has a fire safety certificate, disability access certificate or necessary revised certificates. This provision has serious economic implications for the developer or owner of a property because it means the building cannot have a beneficial economic use. The enforcement powers of the building control authorities will be strengthened under this Bill. They will be empowered to initiate all proceedings for offences under the building code by way of summary prosecution in the District Court. This should also act as a deterrent to those contemplating non-compliance with the regulations.

While I understand the motivation behind the Deputy's proposed increase in the penalties, I consider the current levels appropriate, especially when taken in conjunction with other provisions of the Bill.

The Minister is saying he does not agree with my proposal to increase the penalties and that there are other mechanisms that are equally punitive. I disagree with him in this regard. A clear declaration of intent must be made that those who are convicted will be penalised effectively. Under the planning legislation, for example, cases can go on forever and the fines ultimately imposed are not a serious issue for those on whom they are imposed. The inadequacy of penalties is a problem in many areas. When Drogheda grammar school was illegally demolished in 1987, for instance, the maximum fine for demolition of a listed building at that time was £10,000. As a result of legal action I and another person took, this penalty was increased legislatively to more than £1 million. Substantial penalties must be in place so that people will not even consider contravening the legislation.

Fines must provide a salutary lesson that anybody who goes to court to defend the indefensible and is found guilty will pay the absolute price financially as well as every other way. Otherwise, people will not learn.

I strongly support Deputy O'Dowd's amendment No. 33. There is a broader issue here in terms of the prevalence of legislation that is focused on the concerns of developers. I am strongly of the view that we must focus in our legislation on the needs of citizens, particularly those with disabilities. From my discussions with the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disability Federation of Ireland, I am sure they would strongly support the proposal that fines of €800 should be increased to €25,000.

We must ensure the rights of people with disabilities are respected in all legislation. It is important to be people-focused rather than facilitating the concerns of developers. I urge the Minister of State to listen to the concerns of groups who will be affected by the provisions of the Bill. Amendment No. 33 adds teeth to the punitive regime for those who breach the buildings regulations.

In regard to enforcement, on average, only 17 cases of non-compliance with the buildings regulations are taken to court by the enforcement authorities on an annual basis. I understand the costs involved in pursuing cases of non-compliance are funded from the relevant control authority's annual budget. Many authorities are reluctant to pursue investigations where there is an uncertain cost element or a definite cost to themselves. Enforcement is more likely to be undertaken if it is self-financing and the costs can be recovered. To achieve a more positive and proactive policing of the building regulations by the enforcement authorities, the cost of investigating and following through with prosecutions should be paid by the person who is non-compliant. These are the issues raised by those who work in the disability sector. I urge the Minister of State to accept amendment No. 33 because this provision needs to be stronger.

The Minister of State's proposal is to increase the fine from £800 to €5,000 while Deputy O'Dowd's amendment would increase it to €25,000. Given inflationary costs and the increases in property values, the potential gain of someone who breaks the law or who does not comply with it is substantial. I understand these would be the maximum fines the court could impose so there would be discretion for judges to take account of the circumstances of the breach. If it was done wilfully, the maximum could be applied but if it was done accidentally, it would be different.

I invite the Minister of State to accept Deputy O'Dowd's amendments or to go even further because they are fairly modest. The amount involved is probably just a single morning's takings in the Fianna Fáil tent at the Galway Races.

Or the same as the Deputy's takings at his lunch when he was Minister for Finance.

I never got that far.

The PDs ask for €5,000.

I will find out the maximum fines that can be levied in the District Court and ensure proposed fines adhere to that amount. We will look at this before the Bill goes to the Seanad.

I will accept that if the Minister of State undertakes to look at the issues in amendments Nos. 33 and 34.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 34 not moved.
Bill reported without amendment.

I move amendment No. 35:

In page 17, line 38, after "Part" to insert the following:

"provided that the Institute shall establish procedures to ensure a separation between the performance of its regulatory functions under this Act and of its existing representative functions, and shall ensure that the regulatory functions are performed independently by the Admissions Board and are not subject to the influence, direction or control of any other authority within the Institute".

This is a belt and braces amendment. It could be argued that it is not necessary from the drafting point of view but it is a statutory requirement for the institute that will be given the responsibility.

We are giving this responsibility to an institute that does not represent or purport to represent all architects, but all architects who wish to be registered must come through this process. Some have expressed concerns that the role of the institute will change from that of a voluntary representational body to that of a statutory regulatory body. I propose that in conferring this responsibility on the institute, it will be required to set up a system of clear separation between one set of activities and another. The amendment will comfort those people who feel the institute is becoming both player and referee.

The proposed functions under the Bill for the registration of the title of architect will be administered by the RIAI as a registration body and not in its role as the representative body for certain architects. The Bill provides for the making of all registration provisions by admissions boards, technical assessment boards, professional conduct committees and appeals boards independently of the RIAI as a registration body and sets out how these boards are to be appointed. The Deputy should note that the RIAI, as a registration body, will be required to publish a separate annual report, including certified accounts, on the operation of the registration system under section 68. I do not consider the amendment necessary.

I concede it is not absolutely necessary because the Minister of State is right, but the amendment does not negate any provision of the Bill. It simply makes explicit at the commencement of the section, which is what people will look at, that there is a clear separation of function between the role the institute currently has and the role we are giving to it under the Bill. I would prefer if the Minister of State would accept this because it will provide comfort to the section of the architectural and design community that freely chooses not to join the institute.

I genuinely do not believe the amendment is necessary.

Amendment put and declared lost.
Amendment No. 36 not moved.

I move amendment No. 37:

In page 18, line 7, after "architects" to insert the following:

"one of whom should have knowledge of management of the construction sector; one of whom should have knowledge of the third level education sector; and two of whom should have knowledge of social partnership".

We are trying to avoid visiting committee syndrome, where someone other than the current Minister could be tempted to appoint to this responsible board of assessment someone who has no knowledge or experience in this area. We are not trying to curtail the autonomy or power of the Minister but stating "one of whom should have knowledge of management of the construction sector; one of whom should have knowledge of the third level education sector; and two of whom should have knowledge of social partnership". These are broad descriptions, almost as broad as the qualifications for the Seanad panels.

The amendment is an attempt to provide some direction because the Minister of the day may decide to disregard the advice of civil servants and the representations made by other sectors and appoint people who are not appropriate. While patronage is an essential part of any democracy, and is understood as such, it must be tempered by qualifications, eligibility and suitability for certain posts. That is what we are purporting to do in this amendment and I urge the Minister of State to consider it.

Deputy Quinn's amendment relates to the Minister's nomination of non-architects to the registration body and would require the Minister to nominate people with a knowledge of the construction sector, the third level education sector and a knowledge of social partnership. The purpose of this section is to nominate lay persons to the registration body and the Minister of the day might consider it appropriate to nominate people with the knowledge referred to in the amendment.

A view could, however, be taken on knowledge of the construction sector that the architect members of the registration body would provide sufficient experience of the construction industry. For that reason, I would prefer to leave it to the discretion of the Minister of the day to nominate lay people who would make a contribution to the working of the registration body without constraining him or her in legislation on the type of knowledge these nominees should have. In the circumstances, I hope the Deputy will accept my position.

I can accept the Minister of State's position but not that of his successors.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendments Nos. 74 to 76, inclusive, 97 and 98 are related to amendment No. 38, which is to be recommitted, and they may all be discussed together.

Bill recommitted in respect of amendment No. 38.

I move amendment No. 38:

In page 18, to delete lines 19 to 22 and substitute the following:

"who has received from it in any year prior to 2005 the degree of Bachelor of Architecture or the Diploma in Architecture of degree standard or in 2005 or any subsequent year the degree of Bachelor of Architecture (Honours), or such other degree, diploma or other qualification as may be prescribed and who, in each case—".

Section 12 relates to the eligibility criteria for registration. Amendment No. 38 restates the eligibility qualifications cited for entitlement to registration to comply with the format set out in the national framework of qualifications. The national qualifications framework is developed and maintained by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland which was established in 2001 under the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999. The national qualifications framework sets out the qualifications in the Irish educational system in a clear structure so that they can be measured and related to each other in a coherent way. Under the framework it is necessary to distinguish between the qualifications awarded prior to 2005 and those from 2005 onwards. It does not change the status or level of any qualification originally cited in the Bill.

Amendment No. 74 restates the eligibility qualifications cited for entitlement to registration as quantity surveyors to comply with the format set out in the national qualifications framework. Under the framework it is necessary to distinguish between the qualifications awarded prior to 2005 and those awarded subsequently. It does not change the status or level of any qualification originally cited in the Bill.

Amendment No. 75 amends the period of practical experience required for registration of quantity surveyors from seven years to two years as required by Article 13(2) of Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. Amendment No. 76 is a purely technical amendment in line with amendment No. 75.

Amendments Nos. 97 and 98 restate the eligibility qualifications cited for entitlement to registration as building surveyors to comply with the format set out in the national qualifications framework as referred to earlier for architects and quantity surveyors. It also amends the period of practical experience required for registration of building surveyors from seven years to two years as required by Article 13(2) of Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications.

Amendment No. 38 was inserted at the request of the Department of Education and Science to link in with the recently developed national qualifications framework.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill reported with amendment.

Amendments Nos. 39, 61, 84, 85, 106 and 107 are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 39:

In page 18, line 34, to delete "on the date of the passing of this Act".

Amendment 39 provides that persons who are fellows or members of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland will continue to be eligible for registration in the national register and not only up to the date of the passing of the Act as had been provided for.

Amendment No. 61 arises from Committee Stage amendments tabled by Deputy Quinn. He was promised during the debate that the matter would be given further consideration on Report Stage. Section 20 provides an assessment process for applicants for registration who have been performing duties commensurate with those of an architect for a period of ten or more years in the State. Based on the Bill as passed on Committee Stage, this experience would be measured from the passing of the Act. Having listened to the Committee Stage debate, amendment No. 61 proposes to change that to the commencement date of this section. This will give a longer period for acquiring the ten years of practical experience necessary for assessment under this section.

Amendments Nos. 84, 85,106 and 107 cater for the position of quantity and building surveyors which will be similar to that of architects, as already explained under amendment No. 61. These amendments will comply with EU directives on qualifications.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 40 and 41 are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 40:

In page 18, line 40, to delete "the Minister for the Environment" and substitute "the Minister".

Section 12 relates to the eligibility criteria for registration. The change in the reference to the Minister is purely technical for the purposes of uniformity in the Bill. Amendment No. 41 provides that the practical experience of seven years necessary for persons applying for registration under this section will apply to practical experience undertaken in the State.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 41:

In page 19, line 10, to delete "with those of an architect" and substitute "with those of an architect in the State".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 42:

In page 19, to delete lines 16 to 19 and substitute the following:

"(i) has been awarded in a state other than

(I) a Member State, or

(II) on an agreement referred to insection 13(1)(f) being entered into and taking effect in relation to a state which is a member of the World Trade Organisation, that state,

a degree, diploma or other qualification in architecture, and".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 43:

In page 19, line 23, after "registration" to insert "pursuant to the grandfather clause".

I believe the Minister of State has agreed to accept the definition of the grandfather clause, which will flow from this section.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 44:

In page 19, to delete lines 33 to 36.

Is the Minister of State withdrawing the provision that a person could self-declare himself or herself to be qualified?

No. This is where a person can make a statutory declaration.

Having read this, am I correct that the Minister of State is withdrawing this proposal in one of his amendments?

The effect of my amendment would be to remove the following provision:

The registration body may accept as sufficient compliance by a person withsubsection (2)(a)(II) a statutory declaration by the person that he or she possesses the experience referred to in that provision.

I seem to recall that the Minister of State might have removed this provision himself. It means that someone can swear to be compliant. It would be a good trick if it could be done in other areas of life.

We did not withdraw this provision. Section 12(2) permits an architectural graduate of the NUI or the Dublin Institute of Technology or any other prescribed education institute to seek an exemption from a professional practice examination where that person can demonstrate that he or she has seven years postgraduate experience commensurate with the duties of an architect. Amendment No. 44 would delete the provision where a person can comply with this exemption by making a statutory declaration that he or she has the requisite experience. If this subsection is deleted, the provision on the exemption continues but the right of the registration body to accept a statutory declaration as compliance no longer exists. It seems to me that the registration body should have the option of accepting a statutory declaration. As drafted it is not a mandatory provision. I would prefer to keep the provision and cannot accept the amendment.

Is the Minister of State specifically referring to people from the EU accession countries?

Is it Irish only?

It refers to people working in the State.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 45 is out of order.

Amendment No. 45 not moved.

I move amendment No. 46:

In page 19, line 49, after "architecture" to insert "in accordance with Article 46 of the Directive".

Section 12 relates to the eligibility criteria for registration. Amendment 46 adds a reference to Article 46 of Directive 2005/36 on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications to section 12(5). This is for clarification purposes so that it will link clearly with the criteria to be provided in regard to the prescription of courses leading to a degree, diploma or other qualification in architecture. Such courses must provide the requisite instruction in the various elements of the discipline of architecture in accordance with Article 46 of the directive. This is effectively a drafting amendment.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill recommitted in respect of amendments Nos. 47 and 48.

Amendments Nos. 47, 80 and 102 are related and may be discussed together, by agreement.

I move amendment No. 47:

In page 21, to delete lines 45 to 50 and substitute the following:

"(4) A person who is registered pursuant to subsection (1) (other than paragraph (f) thereof) or section 14 shall use the professional title —“architect”.”.

Amendment No. 47 provides that an architect who is eligible under sections 13 or 14 as a national of an EU member state, the European Economic Area or Swiss Confederation will be entitled to use the title "architect" when registered in the State. The entitlement derives from Article 51 of Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications.

Amendment No. 80 provides that a quantity surveyor who is eligible for registration under section 28 of the Bill as a national may be recognised and enjoy the entitlements under Article 52 of the directive. Amendment No. 102 provides similarly for a building surveyor who is eligible for registration under section 42 of the Bill. Such entitlement is also required under Article 52 of the directive.

I would like the Minister of State to clarify a point I may have misunderstood in reading the explanatory memorandum. According to the memorandum, section 12 sets out the detailed criteria for registration by persons who are nationals of EU member states and the European Economic Area in accordance with EU regulations. Did the Minister of State's response to my earlier question mean that Irish nationals only were covered? The context of my query is Deputy Quinn's point that a person signing a statutory declaration that they have the requisite experience could constitute sufficient compliance.

The Deputy's point relates to the requirement that an applicant demonstrate seven years of postgraduate experience in the performance of duties commensurate with those of an architect such as would entitle a person to seek the granting of an exemption by the body under subparagraphs (1), (2) and (3), as appropriate, from having to undergo the examination referred to in clause (1).

When I queried section 12, I thought I was told it made provisions in respect of Irish people only. The explanatory memorandum, however, states that section 12 also covers nationals of EU member states and the EEA. It is a technical point. The Minister of State made the point to Deputy Quinn that a statutory declaration should not be enough on its own.

The subsection we were discussing when Deputy O'Dowd asked his original questions relates to Irish nationals only.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 48, 53, 81 and 103 are related and may be discussed together, by agreement.

I move amendment No. 48:

In page 22, between lines 5 and 6, to insert the following:

"(6) So much of the provisions of this section or section 14 as have effect in cases where—

(a) the person concerned is a national of a Member State,

(b) any act or thing is done or awarded or issued in, or by a competent authority of, a Member State, or

(c) a matter is provided under the law of a Member State,

shall, to the extent that the terms of those provisions would prevent the equal treatment or recognition mentioned in subsection (7) being accorded to the person mentioned in that subsection, be read subject to such modifications as will allow that equal treatment or recognition to be accorded to that person.

(7)(a) The equal treatment mentioned in subsection (6) is the equal treatment of a family member (within the meaning of Directive 2004/38 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004) of a national of a Member State required by Article 24 (1) of that Directive.

(b) The recognition mentioned in subsection (6) is the recognition required by Article 27 of Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 of qualifications of a person who is a beneficiary of refugee or subsidiary protection status (within the meaning of that Directive).”.

Amendments Nos. 48, 53, 81 and 103 are largely drafting amendments to ensure compliance with various EU directives. Amendment No. 48 is necessary to provide for recognition of EU Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 which relates to equal treatment of a family member of a national of a member state within the meaning of Article 24(1) of that directive in so far as it relates to recognition of qualifications. The amendment applies also to the requirements of Article 27 of Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on the recognition of the qualifications of a person who is a beneficiary of a refugee or who holds subsidiary protection status within the meaning of the directive.

Amendment No. 53 provides that the name of a person who fails to complete an adaptation period successfully, take and pass an aptitude test as required or obtain the knowledge of language necessary to practise architecture in the State will be erased from the register. It also sets out the necessary procedures for doing so.

Amendments Nos. 81 and 103 apply the same provisions as Nos. 48 and 53 to quantity surveyors and building surveyors.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill reported with amendment.

Amendments Nos. 49, 77 and 99 are cognate and may be discussed together, by agreement.

I move amendment No. 49:

In page 22, line 20, to delete "The Admissions Board" and substitute the following:

"Subject to the provisions of the Directive, the Admissions Board".

Amendments Nos. 49, 77 and 99 set out drafting changes to ensure compliance with EU Directive 2005/36/EC on mutual recognition of professional qualifications. They relate to instances where persons from abroad apply to register as architects in Ireland. The purpose of amendments Nos. 49, 77 and 99 is to clarify that where an admissions board for architects, quantity surveyors or building surveyors requires additional information from certain applicants for registration under sections 14, 28 and 42, respectively, or requires them to appear for an interview, the board will be subject to the provisions of the directive.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 50 and 60 are related and may be discussed together, by agreement.

I move amendment No. 50:

In page 22, line 25, after "Board" to insert ", at least 2 of whom shall not be architects,".

While its effect, to a degree, would be to tie the hands of those appointed, amendment No. 50 represents an attempt to achieve balance by requiring two board members to be other than architects. Such provision would provide a wider array of experience in assessing interviewees.

Section 14(4) enables the architects admissions board to set up an interview at which at least four members of the board would be present. As there will be only three architects on the board, at least one member of an interview board will have to be a non-architect. Amendment No. 50 would require at least two members of an interview board to be other than architects, which is a tying of the hands of the admissions board. I am reluctant to undertake that step. Perhaps the Deputy will reconsider the matter.

Section 19(2) provides that the technical assessment board shall consist of three architects nominated by the registration body and four persons, nominated by the Minister, who are not architects. Amendment No. 50, if made, would require that two of the three architects be in practice. As I said in respect of amendment No. 5, the proposed provisions would serve to restrict the flexibility of the registration board. It might prove difficult to get two architects in practice to be members, whereas there may be no difficulty in appointing architects who have recently retired or work in education.

I understand the background to the proposed amendment. While it is important to ensure that members of the assessment board are informed of latest best practice, nomination of suitable architects may safely be left to the registration board. I ask Deputy Quinn to withdraw his amendment on that basis.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Bill recommitted in respect of amendments Nos. 51 and 52.

Amendments Nos. 51, 78 and 100 are related and may be discussed together, by agreement.

I move amendment No. 51:

In page 22, to delete lines 37 to 41 and substitute the following:

"(8)(a) The Admissions Board may require, in accordance with Article 14 of the Directive, that a person who makes an application under this section shall complete an adaptation period of up to 3 years or take an aptitude test.

(b) For that purpose, the Admissions Board shall serve a notice on the applicant stating that—

(i) the applicant may opt to complete an adaptation period or take an aptitude test (and those alternatives are referred to in subparagraph (iii) as the "2 alternatives"),

(ii) if it is an adaptation period the applicant opts to complete, that period shall be of a duration specified in the notice,

(iii) if the applicant fails to opt as between the 2 alternatives (and notify, in writing, his or her decision in that regard to the Board within a period specified for that purpose in the notice), the Board shall determine whether to require the applicant to complete an adaptation period or take an aptitude test (and, if it is an adaptation period the Board determines that it shall require the applicant to complete, the duration of that period shall be the same as the duration stated in the notice for the purposes of subparagraph (ii)), and

(iv) if the applicant fails, having been registered pursuant to this section, to complete successfully an adaptation period or take and pass an aptitude test which, by virtue of the Directive and this section—

(I) he or she has opted to complete or take and pass, or

(II) the Admissions Board has required him or her to complete or take and pass, the applicant's name shall be erased from the register.".

Amendments Nos. 51, 78 and 100 set out drafting changes to ensure compliance with EU Directive 2005/36/EC on mutual recognition of professional qualifications, the provisions of which relate to persons from abroad applying to register as architects in Ireland. Amendment No. 51 clarifies that a person who applies for registration may be required by the admissions board to complete an adaptation period of up to three years or take an aptitude test where such test is considered necessary. The applicant must be given the choice of either option. The procedures involved are also outlined.

The amendment provides further that the name of a person who fails to complete an adaptation period successfully or take and pass an aptitude test as required will be erased from the register. The name would have been on the register during the adaptation period in accordance with the directive.

Amendment Nos. 78 and 100 apply the same provisions to quantity and building surveyors.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 52, 79 and 101 are related and may be discussed together, by agreement.

I move amendment No. 52:

In page 23, to delete lines 6 to 10 and substitute the following:

"(ii) without prejudice tosubsection (8), the applicant should obtain a knowledge of language necessary for practising architecture in the State,”.

These are primary drafting changes to ensure compliance with EU Directive 2005/36/EC on mutual recognition. They are related to persons from abroad applying to register as architects in Ireland. Amendments Nos. 52, 79 and 101 are technical amendments dealing with having a knowledge of language necessary to practise architecture in the State.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill reported with amendment.

I move amendment No. 53:

In page 23, between lines 27 and 28, to insert the following:

"(13) (a) If it appears to the Admissions Board that a person who is registered in the register pursuant to this section—

(i) has, in a case wheresubsection (8) applies, failed to complete successfully an adaptation period or take and pass an aptitude test, as the case may be, mentioned in that subsection, or

(ii) has, in a case wheresubsection (10)(b)(ii) applies, failed to obtain the knowledge of language mentioned in that provision, the Admissions Board shall decide that the name of the person shall be erased from the register.

(b) If the Admissions Board makes such a decision, it shall direct the Registrar to erase the name of the person from the register; on erasing the name of the person from the register, the Registrar shall forthwith send by prepaid registered post to such person, at the person’s address as stated in the register, notice in writing of the erasure.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment No. 54 arises out of Committee Stage. Amendments Nos. 54, 133 and 134 are related and will be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 54:

In page 23, after line 49, to insert the following:

"(5) In this section, "specified", means fees which have been specified by the registration body with the agreement of the Minister.".

This was proposed to me by people who are not members of the institute and is really a safeguard by which the registration body would be able to set fees that would be subject to the agreement of the Minister. In other words, the registration body could calculate what the appropriate fee should be according to its assessment of the costs, including the administrative costs, but the Minister would sign it off to ensure an excessive fee was not charged.

This amendment provides for the transfer of responsibility for the approval of all registration fees from the Director of Consumer Affairs to the Minister. It applies to all fees proposed by the registration bodies which relate to the registration of professionals. In reconsideration, it was felt this was not a matter that fell within the remit of the Director of Consumer Affairs or the new National Consumer Agency. Amendments Nos. 54 and 133 are no longer necessary in view of amendment No. 134.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 55 arises out of Committee proceedings. Amendments Nos. 55, 57 and 58 are related and will be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 55:

In page 24, between lines 17 and 18, to insert the following:

"(2) This section does not prevent a body corporate or partnership from carrying on business under a name, style or title containing the word "architect" provided that at least one of the directors or partners as the case may be is registered under this Part.".

Under this proposal, a multidisciplinary practice where not every person in it is deemed to be an architect but the word "architect" is included in describing the team would not fall to be subject to prohibitions under section 16. In other words, there would be an explicit understanding that, as is increasingly the case, multidisciplinary teams exist that may include the word "architect" in their description even though the majority of people in the practice would not necessarily be architects. All it would mean is that the provisions of section 16 could not be taken against these practices for use of the word "architect" in those contexts.

This amendment to section 16 would enable a partnership or body corporate to carry out business under a name including the word "architect", provided at least one of the partners or directors is registered under the Act. Subsection (3) already achieves much of what the amendment proposes to do. One of the main objectives of the registration of architects is to give greater protection to consumers. Once this Act comes into force, consumers will know that a person calling him or herself an architect has met the qualification requirements of the registration body.

Were I to accept this amendment, I would dilute this consumer protection because it does not include the provision in subsection 3 that all premises where firms' business in respect of architecture is carried out must be by or under the supervision of a registered professional. Therefore, I cannot accept this amendment.

Amendments Nos. 57 and 58 have already been provided for by amendment No. 56 and I ask the Deputy to withdraw them.

The amendment is covered in section 2 so I will withdraw amendments Nos. 55, 57 and 59.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 56 arises out of Committee proceedings. Amendments Nos. 56, 82 and 104 are related and will be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 56:

In page 24, between lines 39 and 40, to insert the following:

"(5)Paragraph (a) or (d) of subsection (1) shall not apply to a person who has—

(a) applied for registration under this Part and in respect of whom the Admissions Board or the Technical Assessment Board, as the case may be, has not made a decision on that application (and the person has not withdrawn that application to the board concerned),

(b) appealed to the Appeals Board against a decision of the Admissions Board or the Technical Assessment Board on an application referred to in paragraph (a) and in respect of whom the Appeals Board has not made a decision on that appeal (and the person has not withdrawn that appeal to the Appeals Board), or

(c) appealed to the High Court against a decision of the Appeals Board referred to in paragraph (b) and in respect of whom the High Court has not made a decision on that appeal (and the person has not withdrawn that appeal to the High Court).”.

During the debate on Committee Stage, Deputy Quinn withdrew an amendment designed to give a period of time for people to apply for registration, during which the enforcement for misuse of title would not apply. This was discussed on Committee Stage when the Minister, Deputy Roche, indicated to Deputy Quinn that he would consider the matter further and return to it on Report Stage.

Having considered the matter, this current amendment provides that the relevant provisions of section 16 which would prohibit the use of the title "architect" unless registered will not have effect where a final decision is outstanding on an architect's application for registration either from the admissions board, the technical assessment board or the appeals board or where an appeal has been made to the High Court against a decision of the appeals board.

I appreciate that it would be unfair to applicants awaiting a decision on registration to be penalised while awaiting regularisation of their position. However, section 16 will have effect on the date on which the final decision has been made by the relevant board or by the High Court in respect of the application. I hope this meets the points raised on Committee Stage.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 57 and 58 not moved.

Amendment No. 59 arises out of Committee proceedings. Amendments No. 59, 83 and 105 are cognate and will be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 59:

In page 25, line 23, after "cause" to insert "a copy of".

This is a practical proposal. As the legislation is currently proposed, the original certificate needs to be displayed. We are suggesting that since the certificate is a fairly valuable document in its own right and is one's licence to practise, a copy could be publicly displayed and the original certificate kept in a safer place.

Unfortunately, I cannot accept this amendment. Sections 13, 31 and 45 require that when a registrant receives a certificate of registration from the registrar, the certificate shall forthwith be displayed where the person practices architecture or surveying. It is only right that the original and authentic certificate should be displayed, as is the case with medical practitioners. Allowing a copy of the registration certificate to be displayed might open the door to forgery or misrepresentation, therefore, I cannot accept this amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 60 not moved.

I move amendment No. 61:

In page 26, line 43, to delete "on or after the passing of this Act" and substitute "on or after the commencement of this section".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 62:

In page 27, line 36, after "The", to insert the following:

"method of assessment used by the Technical Assessment Board shall be in line with and consistent with that applied to the category of persons referred to insection12(2)(d) and the”.

This amendment was suggested to achieve consistency, which I think we have probably done at this stage. There have already been enough Government amendments in terms of the assessment. I do not think it is required at this stage.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 63:

In page 27, to delete lines 44 to 46 and substitute the following:

"(c) whether or not the applicant can demonstrate that he or she has acquired the competencies specified in Article 46 of the Directive, and in so assessing under the grandfather clause, due regard shall be taken of the skills acquired by experience and practical means, as demonstrated by the work performed by the applicant in the field of architecture and where applicable, skills acquired through formal training;”.

The purpose of this amendment is to elaborate and further strengthen section 20(7)(c). What is the Minister’s view in regard to this? We are discussing amendment No. 63.

That has already been discussed with No. 8.

What was the decision?

We are not accepting it.

I will withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

We will have a few such amendments now because they are connected to earlier debates.

Amendment No. 64 arises out of Committee proceedings. Amendments Nos. 73 and 136 are related and Nos. 64, 73 and 136 will be discussed together by agreement.

I move amendment No. 64:

In page 28, between lines 17 and 18, to insert the following:

"(9) The Technical Assessment Board shall endeavour to ensure that all applications received by the Technical Assessment Board shall be adjudicated upon in the manner specified in column 2 and within the timeframe specified in column 3 of the Schedule.".

The amendment relates to not having an open-ended time provision to ensure some kind of timeframe within which responses would be made. Perhaps the Minister has already dealt with this matter elsewhere.

These amendments would set time limits, as set out in Column II of the Schedule for each phase of assessment of applications by the technical assessment board for architects and surveyors. I agree it would be best practice that all of the boards would operate in a timely manner and that decisions would not be unduly delayed. I believe the registration boards themselves should set out the objectives for timely decision making. I do not think there should be statutory timeframes. For that reason, I cannot accept these amendments.

I understand the reason the Minister of State has responded in this manner. However, this is the only intervention instrument available to us. The Minister of State indicated that when the boards are established and powers are conferred on them he will make a public and formal request that one of the things they will have to do is precisely what he just said. In effect, the times set out are somewhat arbitrary and we do not know the full extent of the details. We have seen what happened with An Bord Pleanála which, although it is supposed to give decisions within a fixed period, cannot always do so. I accept the spirit of what the Minister of State outlined. Currently, the Bill is open-ended but I understand the Minister will require the board in question, on appointment, to have regard to timetables and to honour times in terms of applications. On that basis, I will withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment No. 65 in the name of the Minister requires recommital. Amendments Nos. 66 to 68, inclusive, 86 to 89, inclusive, 108 to 111, inclusive, and 135 are related, and may be discussed together by agreement.

Bill recommitted in respect of amendment No. 65.

I move amendment No. 65:

In page 28, line 20, to delete "and 7 ordinary" and substitute "and 11 ordinary".

These amendments provide for increasing the membership of the professional conduct committees for architects, quantity surveyors and building surveyors from seven members and a chairperson to 11 members and a chairperson. The increased membership will facilitate the committees creating subgroups and having different persons carry out an initial examination of a complaint to those carrying out any further hearings considered necessary. I consider this will be in the interest of fairness and transparency in the process.

Amendment No. 135 provides that the quorum for a meeting of a board or committee will be increased to six to take account of the increased numbers on the professional conduct committees.

The Minister of State indicated five out of 11 members shall be nominated by the Minister. How does this dovetail with section 21? Four extra members are being appointed.

Plus a chairman.

That is 12 members in total. How it is proposed to select them?

Section 21(3) outlines the chairperson of the committee shall be a solicitor, barrister or former judge of the Circuit Court, High Court or Supreme Court, who shall be appointed as chairperson by the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

The registration body will establish a professional conduct committee. It was originally envisaged the committee would consist of seven ordinary members — three architects nominated for such appointment by the registration body and four persons who are not architects, three of whom are nominated for such appointments by the Minister and one of whom is nominated for such appointment by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

So it is necessary to change the numbers.

Yes, we will have to modify them.

I just want to clarify who will nominate the members. An extra four people are being added to the committee. Would the Minister not consider the Consumers Association of Ireland should have a right to nominate a member to the committee? Based on what is in the legislation and what the Minister has proposed, the first three members are to be architects, the next four are not architects but they must be appointed by the Minister and one of these must be nominated by him or her with the consent of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. My proposal is that a person representing consumers should be on the board.

The main emphasis in the Bill is to ensure the consumer is protected. It would be within the remit of the Minister in making nominations to ensure the consumer interest is very much involved. It would be the intention of the Minister, Deputy Roche, and my intention, to ensure significant consumer interest is involved. Any appointments made would be proportionate.

One of the appointments will be made with the consent of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. That member in particular will represent the consumer interest.

Will the Minister of State clarify whether there will be a representative of the Consumers Association of Ireland?

I do not say the member will come from the Consumers Association of Ireland, but we will have a nomination with the agreement of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to ensure the consumer interest is represented.

Is that the express interest and intent of the provision?

How will the extra four members be appointed?

In increasing the numbers, it is intended the appointment would be proportionate on what has been agreed already in the Bill. The three members become four etc.

But that is not stated.

It is later on.

It is referred to in amendment No. 67.

That is fine. That was my concern.

Is the amendment agreed?

I appreciate the Minister has proposed to change the numbers of members to be appointed, but he is not changing the stipulations on their origin. I do not doubt the integrity of the Minister or his Department in deciding what the numbers will be, and I appreciate the import of what the Minister of State said is that consumer interests are being addressed, but this is not stated explicitly in the legislation. It is too late to make an amendment to that effect but I wish to ensure the consumer is represented.

Theraison d’être of having an agreement with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment is that the consumer interests would be involved. Whoever is nominated with the agreement of that Minister would obviously represent consumer interests.

Amendment agreed to.
Bill reported with amendment.

Amendment No. 69 arises from proceedings on Committee Stage. Amendments Nos. 69, 90 and 112 are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 69:

In page 29, lines 6 and 7, to delete "a solicitor, a barrister" and substitute "a practising solicitor, a practising barrister".

We are fine-tuning the Bill. A series of amendments follow from this proposed amendment. Someone who is earning his or her livelihood as a solicitor or barrister can participate in this, but the tendency may be to have retired people fulfil this function. Former judges are acceptable because they are used to adjudicating. In an appeal process, where one faces the threat of losing a licence to work, one may end up in court as a consequence. We must have people from the first division. The inclusion of "practising" is a loose definition. This is a serious process and if one loses an appeal to hold an operating licence the next step will be the courts. We should ensure the appeal process is rigorous in respect of current law rather than the law when the solicitor or barrister retired. This general point refers to all these amendments.

I support Deputy Quinn. It is important that the highest possible test be used for those sitting in judgment. In this context it should refer to current and practising barristers or solicitors. That is not to detract from eminent and highly qualified former barristers or solicitors. These people must be practising in the field, at the cutting edge.

I do not accept these amendments because it would restrict the Minister's choice in appointing the chairperson of the appeals board to practising barristers or solicitors. Those who have qualified as barristers or solicitors and do not practise or have retired from practice should not be excluded from appointment. The important consideration is that those appointed have the capacity and skill to undertake the work. In making such appointments the Minister will have this in mind.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Amendment No. 70 arises from proceedings on Committee Stage. Amendments Nos. 70, 71, 92, 94, 114 and 116 are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 70:

In page 29, line 16, after "against" to insert the following:

"or such longer period as may be allowed by the Appeals Board".

The Bill provides that appeals may be made to the appeals board and the High Court within three months of the decision. Originally a two month period had been envisaged. These amendments would allow the appeals board and the High Court to extend the period. It is important matters be brought to a conclusion in a timely manner. These limits are in the interests of the person aggrieved at a decision and the wider public. The effect of one of the amendments made is that a person can continue to use the title of architect, for example, while an appeal is in progress. It is in the interests of consumers that matters be dealt with in a timely manner.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment No. 71 not moved.

I move amendment No. 72:

In page 31, line 5, to delete "constitutes professional misconduct" and substitute the following:

"constitutes professional misconduct or poor professional performance".

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 73 not moved.

I move amendment No. 74:

In page 32, to delete lines 13 to 15 and substitute the following:

"(I) in any year prior to 2005, a diploma called the Construction Economic Diploma or a degree of Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying,

(II) in 2005 or any subsequent year, an Honours degree of Bachelor of Science in Construction Economics and Management or an Honours degree of Bachelor of Science in Construction Economics (Quantity Surveying), or".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 75:

In page 32, line 18, to delete "7 years" and substitute "2 years".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 76:

In page 32, lines 40 and 41, to delete all words from and including "who" in line 40 down to and including "(B.Sc.)" in line 41 and substitute the following:

"who on or after 1 January 2001 and prior to 2005 attained a degree of Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying or in 2005 or any subsequent year an Honours degree of Bachelor of Science in Construction Economics (Quantity Surveying)".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 77:

In page 34, line 15, to delete "The Admissions Board" and substitute the following:

"Subject to the provisions of the Directive, the Admissions Board".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 78:

In page 34, to delete lines 32 to 36 and substitute the following:

"(8) (a) The Admissions Board may require, in accordance with Article 14 of the Directive, that a person who makes an application under this section shall complete an adaptation period of up to 3 years or take an aptitude test.

(b) For that purpose, the Admissions Board shall serve a notice on the applicant stating that—

(i) the applicant may opt to complete an adaptation period or take an aptitude test (and those alternatives are referred to insubparagraph (iii) as the “2 alternatives”),

(ii) if it is an adaptation period the applicant opts to complete, that period shall be of a duration specified in the notice,

(iii) if the applicant fails to opt as between the 2 alternatives (and notify, in writing, his or her decision in that regard to the Board within a period specified for that purpose in the notice), the Board shall determine whether to require the applicant to complete an adaptation period or take an aptitude test (and, if it is an adaptation period the Board determines that it shall require the applicant to complete, the duration of that period shall be the same as the duration stated in the notice for the purposes ofsubparagraph (ii)), and

(iv) if the applicant fails, having been registered pursuant to this section, to complete successfully an adaptation period or take and pass an aptitude test which, by virtue of the Directive and this section——

(I) he or she has opted to complete or take and pass, or,

(II) the Admissions Board requires him or her to complete or take and pass, the applicant's name shall be erased from the register.".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 79:

In page 35, to delete lines 1 to 5 and substitute the following:

"(ii) without prejudice tosubsection (8), the applicant should obtain a knowledge of language necessary for practising quantity surveying in the State,”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 80:

In page 35, to delete lines 11 to 15 and substitute the following:

"(11) A person who is registered pursuant to this section shall—

(a) use the professional title —“quantity surveyor”, and

(b) unless he or she is a member of a body referred to in Annex 1 of the Directive, not expressly represent, or imply by use of any words or letters, that he or she is a member of that body.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 81:

In page 35, between lines 27 and 28, to insert the following:

"(14) (a) If it appears to the Admissions Board that a person who is registered in the register pursuant to this section—

(i) has, in a case wheresubsection (8) applies, failed to complete successfully an adaptation period or take and pass an aptitude test, as the case may be, mentioned in that subsection, or

(ii) has, in a case wheresubsection (10)(b)(ii) applies, failed to obtain the knowledge of language mentioned in that provision, the Admissions Board shall decide that the name of the person shall be erased from the register.

(b) If the Admissions Board makes such a decision, it shall direct the Registrar to erase the name of the person from the register; on erasing the name of the person from the register, the Registrar shall forthwith send by prepaid registered post to such person, at the person’s address as stated in the register, notice in writing of the erasure.

(15) So much of the provisions of this section as have effect in cases where—

(a) the person concerned is a national of a Member State,

(b) any act or thing is done or awarded or issued in, or by a competent authority of a Member State, or

(c) a matter is provided under the law of a Member State,

shall, to the extent that the terms of these provisions would prevent the equal treatment or recognition mentioned insubsection (16) being accorded to the person mentioned in that subsection, be read subject to such modifications as will allow that equal treatment or recognition to be accorded to that person.

(16) (a) The equal treatment mentioned in subsection (15) is the equal treatment of a family member (within the meaning of Directive 2004/38 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004) of a national of a Member State required by Article 42(1) of that Directive.

(b) The recognition mentioned in subsection (15) is the recognition required by Article 27 of Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 of qualifications of a person who is a beneficiary of refugee or subsidiary protection status (within the meaning of that Directive).”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 82:

In page 36, between lines 31 and 32, to insert the following:

"(4)Paragraph (a) or (d) of subsection (1) shall not apply to a person who has—

(a) applied for registration under this Part and in respect of whom the Admissions Board or the Technical Assessment Board, as the case may be, has not made a decision on that application (and the person has not withdrawn that application to the board concerned),

(b) appealed to the Appeals Board against a decision of the Admissions Board or the Technical Assessment Board on an application referred to in paragraph (a) and in respect of whom the Appeals Board has not made a decision on that appeal (and the person has not withdrawn that appeal to the Appeals Board), or

(c) appealed to the High Court against a decision of the Appeals Board referred to in paragraph (b) and in respect of whom the High Court has not made a decision on that appeal (and the person has not withdrawn that appeal to the High Court).”.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 83 not moved.

I move amendment No. 84:

In page 38, line 27, to delete "on or after the passing of this Act" and substitute "on or after the commencement of this section".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 85:

In page 38, lines 32 and 33, to delete "on or after the passing of this Act" and substitute "on or after the commencement of this section".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 86:

In page 39, line 24, to delete "and 7 ordinary" and substitute "and 11 ordinary".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 87:

In page 39, line 26, to delete "3 quantity surveyors" and substitute "5 quantity surveyors".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 88:

In page 39, line 30, to delete "4 persons" and substitute "6 persons".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 89:

In page 39, line 31, to delete "3 of whom" and substitute "5 of whom".

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 90 not moved.

Amendment No. 91 arises from proceedings on Committee Stage. Amendments Nos. 91, 93, 113 and 115 are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 91:

In page 40, line 20, to delete "within 2 months" and substitute "within 3 months".

These amendments are necessary and consequential to sections 37 and 51 with regard to quantity surveyors and building surveyors subsequent to the Government amendment on Committee Stage to extend the period from two to three months for architects making an appeal to the appeal board after a decision. This would apply to the decision of the admissions board, the technical assessment board and the professional conduct committee. Amendments Nos. 93 and 115 are necessary and consequential to sections 38 and 52 in regard to quantity surveyors and building surveyors subsequent to the Government amendment on Committee Stage.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 92 not moved.

I move amendment No. 93:

In page 41, line 41, to delete "within 2 months" and substitute "within 3 months".

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 94 not moved.

I move amendment No. 95:

In page 42, line 11, to delete "constitutes professional misconduct" and substitute the following:

"constitutes professional misconduct or poor professional performance".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 96:

In page 42, line 22, to delete "On hearing of such complaint" and substitute "On the hearing of such a complaint".

This is a technical amendment as advised by the parliamentary counsel.

I move amendment No. 97:

In page 43, to delete lines 17 to 21 and substitute the following:

"who has received from it in any year prior to 2005 a degree of Bachelor of Science in Building Surveying or in 2005 or any subsequent year an Honours degree of Bachelor of Science in Building Surveying or such other degree, diploma or qualification as may be prescribed and who, in each case, has at least 2 years appropriate experience of performing duties commensurate with those of a building surveyor;".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 98:

In page 43, lines 39 and 40, to delete all words from and including "who" in line 39 down to and including "(B.Sc.)" in line 40 and substitute the following:

"who on or after 1 January 2001 and prior to 2005 attained a degree of Bachelor of Science in Building Surveying or in 2005 or any subsequent year an Honours degree of Bachelor of Science in Building Surveying".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 99:

In page 45, line 8, to delete "The Admissions Board" and substitute the following:

"Subject to the provisions of the Directive, the Admissions Board".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 100:

In page 45, to delete lines 25 to 29 and substitute the following:

"(8) (a) The Admissions Board may require, in accordance with Article 14 of the Directive, that a person who makes an application under this section shall complete an adaptation period of up to 3 years or take an aptitude test.

(b) For that purpose, the Admissions Board shall serve a notice on the applicant stating that—

(i) the applicant may opt to complete an adaptation period or take an aptitude test (and those alternatives are referred to insubparagraph (iii) as the “2 alternatives”),

(ii) if it is an adaptation period the applicant opts to complete, that period shall be of a duration specified in the notice,

(iii) if the applicant fails to opt as between the 2 alternatives (and notify, in writing, his or her decision in that regard to the Board within a period specified for that purpose in the notice), the Board shall determine whether to require the applicant to complete an adaptation period or take an aptitude test (and, if it is an adaptation period the Board determines that it shall require the applicant to complete, the duration of that period shall be the same as the duration stated in the notice for the purposes ofsubparagraph (ii)), and

(iv) if the applicant fails, having been registered pursuant to this section, to complete successfully an adaptation period or take and pass an aptitude test which, by virtue of the Directive and this section—

(I) he or she has opted to complete or take and pass, or

(II) the Admissions Board requires him or her to complete or take and pass,

the applicant's name shall be erased from the register.".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 101:

In page 45, to delete lines 41 to 45 and substitute the following:

"(ii) without prejudice tosubsection (8), the applicant should obtain a knowledge of language necessary for practising building surveying in the State,”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 102:

In page 46, to delete lines 3 to 7 and substitute the following:

"(11) A person who is registered pursuant to this section shall—

(a) use the professional title —“building surveyor”, and

(b) unless he or she is a member of a body referred to in Annex 1 of the Directive, not expressly represent or imply, by use of any words or letters, that he or she is a member of that body.”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 103:

In page 46, between lines 19 and 20, to insert the following:

"(14) (a) If it appears to the Admissions Board that a person who is registered in the register pursuant to this section—

(i) has, in a case wheresubsection (8) applies, failed to complete successfully an adaptation period or take and pass an aptitude test, as the case may be, mentioned in that subsection, or

(ii) has, in a case wheresubsection (10)(b)(ii) applies, failed to obtain the knowledge of language mentioned in that provision, the Admissions Board shall decide that the name of the person shall be erased from the register.

(b) If the Admissions Board makes such a decision, it shall direct the Registrar to erase the name of the person from the register; on erasing the name of the person from the register, the Registrar shall forthwith send by prepaid registered post to such person, at the person’s address as stated in the register, notice in writing of the erasure.

(15) So much of the provisions of this section as have effect in cases where—

(a) the person concerned is a national of a Member State,

(b) any act or thing is done or awarded or issued in, or by a competent authority of a Member State, or

(c) a matter is provided under the law of a Member State,

shall, to the extent that the terms of these provisions would prevent the equal treatment or recognition mentioned insubsection (16) being accorded to the person mentioned in that subsection, be read subject to such modifications as will allow that equal treatment or recognition to be accorded to that person.

(16) (a) The equal treatment mentioned in subsection (15) is the equal treatment of a family member (within the meaning of Directive 2004/38 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004) of a national of a Member State required by Article 42(1) of that Directive.

(b) The recognition mentioned in subsection (15) is the recognition required by Article 27 of Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 of qualifications of a person who is a beneficiary of refugee or subsidiary protection status (within the meaning of that Directive).”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 104:

In page 47, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:

"(4)Paragraph (a) or (d) of subsection (1) shall not apply to a person who has—

(a) applied for registration under this Part and in respect of whom the Admissions Board or the Technical Assessment Board, as the case may be, has not made a decision on that application (and the person has not withdrawn that application to the board concerned),

(b) appealed to the Appeals Board against a decision of the Admissions Board or the Technical Assessment Board on an application referred to in paragraph (a) and in respect of whom the Appeals Board has not made a decision on that appeal (and the person has not withdrawn that appeal to the Appeals Board), or

(c) appealed to the High Court against a decision of the Appeals Board referred to in paragraph (b) and in respect of whom the High Court has not made a decision on that appeal (and the person has not withdrawn that appeal to the High Court).”.

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 105 not moved.

As it is now 1.30 p.m. I am required to put the following question in accordance with the Order of the Dáil of this day "That the amendments set down by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and not disposed of, including those in respect of which recommittal would in the normal course be required, are hereby made to the Bill, that Fourth Stage is hereby completed and the Bill is hereby passed."

Question put and agreed to.

A message shall be sent to the Seanad acquainting it accordingly.

On behalf of the Minister and myself, I thank those who co-operated with and participated in the debate. It is great to see a Bill that was initiated in 2005 being brought to fruition. I thank the staff of the Oireachtas for their hard work, and the Parliamentary Counsel and my own staff in the Department for their excellent work. I hope the Bill will pass all Stages in the Seanad soon.

I thank the Minister and his staff. This has been a particularly difficult Bill because goalposts were changed in other places. I appreciate that a great deal of hard work has been done and I thank the Minister of State for accepting amendments in my name.

Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil leis an Aire Stáit agus an Roinn a d'oibrigh go dian ar son an Bille seo agus leis na daoine a tháinig isteach anseo chun vótáil nach raibh coinne leis.