Referendum Act, 1998

Functions of Commission.

3.—(1) The Commission shall have, in addition to any functions conferred on it by any other provision of this Act, the following principal functions in relation to the referendum in respect of which it is established:

(a) to prepare—

(i) a statement or statements containing a general explanation of the subject matter of the proposal and of the text thereof in the relevant Bill and any other information relating to those matters that the Commission considers appropriate, and

(ii) a statement or statements having regard to any submissions under section 6 concerning the proposal to which the referendum relates and setting out the arguments for and against the proposal,

and the statements shall be fair to all interests concerned;

(b) to publish and distribute such statements in such manner and by such means including the use of television, radio and other electronic media as the Commission considers most likely to bring them to the attention of the electorate and to ensure as far as practicable that the means employed enable those with a sight or hearing disability to read or hear the statements concerned;

(c) to foster and promote and, where appropriate, to facilitate debate or discussion in a manner that is fair to all interests concerned in relation to the proposal aforesaid.

(2) The Commission shall have all such powers as it considers necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions including, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the following powers:

(a) to prepare, publish and distribute brochures, leaflets, pamphlets and posters, and

(b) to distribute the statements aforesaid to each presidential elector or each household.

(3) If the Commission is established before the passing of the Bill containing the proposal or proposals concerned to amend the Constitution, the Commission shall not publish any statement under this section or incur any expenditure without the consent of the Minister for Finance before such passing.