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Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin)

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Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin)

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Snippet Contents:

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government, at its meeting on 14th May 2013, approved the publication of the text of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013. The aim of this Bill is to establish a comprehensive statutory framework for the Oireachtas to conduct inquiries within the current constitutional parameters. The Bill envisages a central role for the Oireachtas in both initiating and conducting a parliamentary inquiry. Under the Bill, responsibility is assigned exclusively to the Houses of the Oireachtas to determine the requirement for a formal inquiry, the terms of reference of that inquiry, the appropriate committee to conduct an inquiry and the procedural and organisational aspects of the inquiry.
In advance of any decision by the Oireachtas to conduct a banking inquiry and in particular in advance of agreement on its detailed terms of reference, it is not possible to make any precise assessment on the cost of such an inquiry. However, a robust parliamentary power of inquiry can play a very important role in ensuring that lessons relating to past policy failures are learnt, which can only be to the benefit of taxpayers and citizens. I would expect that any inquiry would be conducted by a committee of the House(s).