The establishment of an Electoral Commission is a key commitment in the Programme for Partnership Government. An Electoral Commission will bring together several electoral functions in an independent, dedicated public body.
The Government approved the establishment of a statutory Electoral Commission on 17 July 2019, and the drafting of the General Scheme of an Electoral Commission Bill is at an advanced stage in my Department.
The Electoral Commission’s establishment is guided by several recent reports and public consultation processes, including:
- the 2016 report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht on the Consultation on the Proposed Electoral Commission; and
- the 2018 Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) concerning the establishment of an Electoral Commission in Ireland, and related public consultation which was completed by my Department earlier this year.
The RIA set out four options for the Commission’s establishment, having regard to a commission's legislative status and the functions that might be assigned to it, and included cost estimates in respect of each option.
The aforementioned Government decision of 17 July 2019 to proceed with the establishment of a statutory Electoral Commission with a limited number of initial functions, with a view to assigning further functions over time, aligns with the RIA's identified option 3. The related cost estimates are set out in the RIA, which are available on my Department's website at the following link: