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

Power of committee to conduct inquiry by way of recording evidence, etc.

7.— (1) Subject to sections 12 (1) and 13 (1), a committee may conduct an inquiry into any matter where, in respect of the matter, the inquiry consists only of—

(a) recording evidence,

(b) reporting the evidence,

(c) subject to subsections (2) and (3), making findings of fact (if any), including of relevant misbehaviour, and

(d) subject to subsection (3), making recommendations (if any) arising from one or both of the following:

(i) those findings of fact;

(ii) findings of fact made by another committee in conducting another Part 2 inquiry if the terms of reference for that other Part 2 inquiry expressly state that its findings of fact may be used in other Part 2 inquiries.

(2) Subject to subsection (5), the committee, in exercise of the power to conduct a section 7 inquiry, shall not make any findings of fact except as to facts that are not contradicted by any witness or other person giving evidence in the course of—

(a) the proceedings of the inquiry, or

(b) the proceedings, of which the committee is aware, of a court, tribunal or commission.

(3) The committee shall not have the power referred to in paragraph (c) or (d)(i) or (ii) of subsection (1) unless the terms of reference for the section 7 inquiry expressly state that the committee has that power.

(4) Subject to section 66 , the committee shall not have the power to send for persons, papers or records unless—

(a) that power has been conferred upon it pursuant to the applicable rules and standing orders, and

(b) the resolution under section 13 (1) for the section 7 inquiry specifies that that power has been or will be conferred upon the committee.

(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply to a finding of fact which is relevant misbehaviour.