Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Questions (445)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

445. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Finance the details of the process through which his Department drafts and produces legislation; if his Department outsources the drafting of legislation; if so, the Bills for which the drafting was outsourced since he took office; and the costs associated with the drafting of each Bill. [14419/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

(1) Details of the process through which the Department of Finance drafts and produces legislation

The Department drafts and produces legislation in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Cabinet Handbook.[1] In particular, Chapter 4 sets out the procedures to be followed in respect of proposals for new legislation.

In broad terms, the Department develops policy proposals subject, where necessary, to prior Government approval.  The proposals are then formulated as a General Scheme for the proposed Bill in numbered heads comprising instructions for drafting and explanatory notes.  Subject to prior consultation with the Office of the Attorney General and any other interested Departments, the General Scheme is then presented to Government for approval to draft.  If a General Scheme receives such approval, it is then referred to the Office of the Attorney General for the Bill to be drafted by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to the Government.

The procedures set out in Chapter 4 of the Cabinet Handbook do not apply to certain types of proposed legislation, including the Finance Bill and Consolidation Bills.

In the development of new legislation, the Department does, where appropriate, collaborate with public bodies, particularly bodies under the aegis of the Department, which have expertise in the relevant legislative and policy area.  For example, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners is closely involved in the development of the Finance Bill each year.  The Department does not consider engagement of this type to be “outsourcing” within the meaning of this question.

(2) Does the Department of Finance outsource the drafting of legislation

The Department does not routinely outsource the drafting of legislation, though it may consider this as an option in matters of urgency, or where resource constraints so require.

(3) The Bills for which the drafting was outsourced since June 2017 and the costs associated with the drafting of each Bill

  Since June 2017, the Department has engaged external drafting services on one occasion, as follows:

Date of project commencement

Date of project completion

Title of General Scheme / Title of Bill

 

Consultant

Total cost (ex VAT)

December 2014

December 2018

Central Bank (Consolidation) Bill

Matheson

€100,000

[1] Available at https://assets.gov.ie/6813/2a580791a7b24decb97a550539a0faff.pdf