Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013

Guidelines relating to procedures of Part 2 inquiry.

19.— (1) Subject to subsection (2), the section 19 committee may issue guidelines under this section, not inconsistent with this Act, relating to the procedures of Part 2 inquiries.

(2) For the purposes of the considerations to be taken into account in promoting the objectives of fair procedures and the efficient and cost-effective running of Part 2 inquiries, guidelines under this section may include guidelines relating to—

(a) procedures applicable to witnesses,

(b) any distinctions which may be drawn between procedures applicable to all witnesses and those against whom allegations are made,

(c) the circumstances in which evidence in writing rather than oral evidence may be appropriate,

(d) protocols for committees (including committee members) or a class of committees (including a class of committee members) in their dealings with the media both immediately before the commencement of, during the course of, and after the termination of, Part 2 inquiries,

(e) protocols for the chairmen of committees or a class of such chairmen in their dealings with witnesses and other committee members,

(f) the information to be provided to witnesses, including matters relating to non-cooperation with the inquiry and offences under this Act, or

(g) to the extent practicable, achieving a balance between committee members as regards their respective political affiliations.

(3) Guidelines issued under this section shall not prejudice the generality of any rules and standing orders.

(4) In this section—

“ procedures ” includes conduct;

section 19 committee” means the committee designated by the rules and standing orders of the House as the committee which may issue guidelines under this section.