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

Power of committee to conduct inquiry into legislative functions of either House or both Houses.

8.— (1) Subject to sections 12 (1) and 13 (1), a committee may conduct an inquiry relating to the exercise of one or more than one of the legislative functions of the House or, if the committee is a joint committee, both Houses, including whether there is a need for new legislation.

(2) The committee, in exercise of the power to conduct a section 8 inquiry, may—

(a) record evidence,

(b) report the evidence,

(c) subject to subsection (3), make findings of fact (if any), including of relevant misbehaviour, and

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

(i) those findings of fact (including a recommendation calling for the exercise, or the modification or restraint of the exercise, of any one or more of the legislative functions referred to in subsection (1) the subject of the inquiry);

(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.

(3) The committee shall not have the power referred to in paragraph (c) or (d)(i) or (ii) of subsection (2) unless the terms of reference for the section 8 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 8 inquiry specifies that that power has been or will be conferred upon the committee.