The Houses of the Oireachtas Service is the parliamentary administration which provides advice and support services to:
- The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission
- The Houses of the Oireachtas (Dáil and Seanad) and their Committees
- Members (Deputies and Senators) of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
The Service is staffed by approximately 500 full-time equivalent general, professional and technical civil servants. The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission acts as the governing body of the Service.
Clerk of Dáil Éireann
The Clerk of Dáil Éireann's responsibilities include:
- managing the Houses of the Oireachtas Service
- implementing and monitoring Houses of the Oireachtas Commission policies regarding the Service
- delivering outputs as determined by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.
The Clerk of the Dáil is assisted in this regard by two Assistant Secretaries who have responsibility for parliamentary services and corporate and Members' services.
The Seanad Office
The primary role of the Seanad Office is to support the sittings and business of the Seanad. The Seanad Office assists the Clerk of the Seanad in discharging his duties under Standing Orders and in law. It is also the Secretariat for a number of Seanad committees, including the Committee on Procedure and Privileges and the Seanad Public Consultation Committee.
Clerk of Seanad Éireann
The Clerk of the Seanad provides advice on parliamentary procedure and practice to the Cathaoirleach and to all members of Seanad Éireann. The Clerk is supported in this role by the Clerk Assistant and the Seanad Office. The Clerk of the Seanad is the Returning Officer for Seanad elections and is also a member of a number of statutory commissions.
The roles, functions, and responsibilities of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and the Service are set out in the following legislation.
- Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2018
- Houses of the Oireachtas (Appointments to Certain Offices) Act 2015
- Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2015
- Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013
- Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012
- Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2009
- Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003
- Staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas Act 1959
A working group of parliamentary officials has been set up to review the Houses of the Oireachtas procedures and ensure that the rights of citizens are respected throughout the parliamentary process.
An Caighdeán Oifigiúil
An Caighdeán Oifigiúil is the Oireachtas Service’s official standard for writing in the Irish language. It’s a useful guide for anyone writing in Irish, whether for official State publications or other fields.