I thank the Deputy for his question. The development of the national claims information database is a complex project as insurers very often record data in different ways and do not necessarily use the same definitions. At the end of 2017 work was completed by a data sub-group of the cost of insurance working group on the development of the legislation which would enable the Central Bank to perform this additional function. On 19 December 2017 the Government approved the general scheme of the Central Bank (National Claims Information Database) Bill. The Bill is included in the Government's legislative programme on the list of priority legislation for publication this session. The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach indicated to the Minister for Finance that it would not be conducting pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill, which is helpful.
On 26 January 2018 the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel assigned a drafter to the Bill with whom officials in the Department of Finance are working to finalise a draft as soon as possible. I understand good progress has been made and I am hopeful a Bill will be published before the end of this legislative session. Consultation will also have to take place with the European Central Bank on the Bill once it is published. As the Deputy is aware, it will take a certain amount of time following publication of the Bill for it to pass through the Houses. I am hopeful the co-operation of all parties will ensure it will be passed by the Houses as quickly as possible. To ensure the database can be operationalised quickly following the enactment of the legislation, the Central Bank has continued to work in parallel on the technical specification for the database.
The development of the fraud database is a matter for the Minister for Justice and Equality whose Department is working on the project. I have been informed that a working group chaired by the Minister which also comprises representatives from An Garda Síochána’s National Economic Crime Bureau, Insurance Ireland and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland is carefully considering the policy and legislative issues related to the new database and has consulted appropriate stakeholders, notably the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, ODPC. I understand the group has completed a comprehensive report which was submitted to the ODPC for its consideration. In its response the ODPC identified a number of challenges from a data protection perspective which must be addressed. The working group is continuing to liaise with stakeholders to overcome these challenges and progress the recommendation. Consequently, it is not possible at this time to provide a timeline for its establishment.