Standing Orders: Motion

I move:

That, in accordance with the recommendation of the Sub-Committee on Dáil Reform under Standing Order 107(1)(a), the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann relative to Public Business be amended as follows:

(a) in Standing Order 84, in paragraph (2) (ad) by the substitution of ‘Standing Order 111A(1)’ for ‘Standing Order 111A’;

(b) by the adoption of the following Standing Order in substitution for Standing Order 108:

‘108. (1) There shall stand established, following the reassembly of the Dáil subsequent to a general election, a Standing Committee, to be known as the Working Group of Committee Chairmen, which shall consider the operation of Committees generally.

(2) The membership of the Committee shall be the Chairman of each Standing, Select, Special and Joint Committee, with the exception of the Committee on Procedure and the Business Committee, and the quorum of the Committee shall be six.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), the Committee may consider–

(a) the effectiveness of the Committee system,

(b) reform and policy proposals relating to, or impacting on, the Committee system,

(c) matters of common interest to Committee Chairmen and the issuing of guidance for Committees generally,

(d) scheduling of legislation in Committees,

(e) proposals which affect the delivery of services to Committees, and

(f) any other matter on which it may be consulted under paragraph (7).

(4) The Committee shall, in particular, consider and decide on–

(a) apportionment of moneys available to Committees for consultancy and travel, subject to the consent of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission; and

(b) allocation of accommodation available for Committee meetings:

Provided that this paragraph shall not apply to the Committee on Procedure or the Business Committee.

(5) The Taoiseach shall appear before the Committee in both the Spring and the Autumn Dáil sessions to discuss matters of public policy, and the Committee shall agree an agenda for those meetings with the Taoiseach in advance.

(6) The Committee may, subject to the provisions of legislation governing the Houses of the Oireachtas Service, and the consent of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission where appropriate, make recommendations on any matter relevant to the provision of services to Committees falling within its remit.

(7) The Committee may consult with, and be consulted by, the Committee on Procedure, the sub-Committee on Dáil Reform, and the Business Committee in relation to matters affecting Committees. The Committee may make such recommendations to those bodies in relation to matters affecting Committees as it considers appropriate.

(8) The party in Government or the group (as defined in Standing Order 143) which has been allocated the most Chairman posts under the d’Hondt system, pursuant to Standing Order 93(2), shall nominate one of its Chairmen for appointment by the House as Chairman of the Committee.

(9) The Committee shall have the powers defined in Standing Order 85(1), (2), (3), (5), (8) and (9).

(10) Until further notice in the 32nd Dáil, the Working Group of Committee Chairmen shall, with effect from the date of adoption of this substitute Standing Order, stand appointed as the Committee under this Standing Order, and the membership, Chairman, papers and any work programme of the Working Group shall be those of the Committee.’;

and

(c) in Standing Order 111A, by the insertion of the following paragraph after paragraph (1):

‘(1A) The Committee may also consider a matter of general public concern or interest in relation to the legislative powers of the Houses of the Oireachtas or an issue of public policy: Provided that prior to the commencement of such consideration, the Chairman of the Joint Committee shall consult with the relevant Committee established pursuant to Standing Order 84A.’.”

Question put and agreed to.