S.I. No. 2/2013 - Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2013.


Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 15th January, 2013.

The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by section 2(1)(c) (inserted by section 3 of the Oireachtas (Miscellaneous Provisions) and Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices (Amendment) Act 1996 (No. 39 of 1996)) of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act 1962 (No. 32 of 1962), and by section 10(4) (inserted by section 1 of the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Officers) (Amendment) Act 2001 (No. 30 of 2001)) of the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Act 1938 (No. 38 of 1938) and by section 4 (3) of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003 (No. 28 of 2003), hereby make the following regulations:

1. These Regulations may be cited as the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2013.

2. In these Regulations—

“independent member” means a member of either House of the Oireachtas who is not a member of a qualifying party;

“Ministerial or Parliamentary Office” means the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister of the Government, Minister of State, Chairman of Dáil Éireann, Chairman of Seanad Éireann, Deputy Chairman of Dáil Éireann, Deputy Chairman of Seanad Éireann or Leader of Seanad Éireann.

3. (1) Subject to Regulation 4, each member of Dáil Éireann, who is not the holder of Ministerial or Parliamentary Office, is entitled to—

(a) standard secretarial facilities consisting of either one secretarial assistant working full-time or such number of secretarial assistants working part-time as are equivalent to one secretarial assistant working full-time, and

(b) additional secretarial facilities consisting of one of the following:

(i) one parliamentary assistant working full-time or such number of parliamentary assistants working part-time as are equivalent to one parliamentary assistant working full-time, or

(ii) in cases which the Commission considers exceptional, with the consent of the Commission, one additional secretarial assistant working full-time.

(2) The Commission may, upon the written application by a member of Dáil Éireann, in cases which the Commission considers exceptional and with the consent of the Commission, provide the member in question with additional secretarial facilities up to the equivalent in monetary terms of one secretarial assistant working full-time subject to such conditions as the Commission directs.

(3) A member of Dáil Éireann who is the Chairman of Dáil Éireann or the Deputy Chairman of Dáil Éireann may, subject to a decision of the Commission, opt to avail of secretarial facilities as specified in paragraph (1)(b).

4. A member referred to in Regulation 3(1) is entitled to additional secretarial facilities referred to in that Regulation only where he or she opts in writing, in such a manner and subject to such conditions as the Commission directs, from time to time, to exercise the entitlement.

5. (1) Each member of Dáil Éireann, who is not the holder of Ministerial or Parliamentary Office, is entitled to secretarial facilities consisting of 3 suites of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1, and one set of facilities as specified in Parts 3 to 5 of Schedule 1.

(2) Members may be supplied with one tablet device in addition to the computer devices already provided for in paragraph (1) and any such tablet device provided shall not be counted for the purposes of determining the allocation of computer equipment to members and shall be discounted until the first occasion on which a computer (desktop PC or laptop) issued to the member is due to be replaced. On that occasion that computer shall not be replaced and shall be returned to the Commission by the member to whom it was issued unless the member has refunded to the Commission the full original purchase price (including VAT) of the tablet device issued pursuant to this paragraph.

(3) In the case of work sharing arrangements, referred to in Regulation 3(1), a maximum of one additional suite of computer equipment, as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 may be issued to the member. In the case of the provision of additional secretarial facilities, referred to in Regulation 3(2), a maximum of one additional suite of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 may be issued to the member.

6. (1) Subject to Regulation 7, each member of Seanad Éireann, who is not the holder of Ministerial or Parliamentary Office, is entitled to—

(a) standard secretarial facilities consisting of either one secretarial assistant working half-time or such number of secretarial assistants working less than half-time as are equivalent to one secretarial assistant working half-time, and

(b) additional secretarial facilities consisting of one secretarial assistant working either quarter-time or up to half-time or such number of secretarial assistants working less than half-time as are equivalent to one secretarial assistant working half-time.

(2) The Commission may, upon the written application by a member of Seanad Éireann, in cases which the Commission considers exceptional and with the consent of the Commission, provide the member in question with additional secretarial facilities up to the equivalent in monetary terms of one secretarial assistant working full-time subject to such conditions as the Commission directs.

(3) A member of Seanad Éireann who is the Chairman of Seanad Éireann or the Deputy Chairman of Seanad Éireann may, subject to a decision of the Commission, opt to avail of secretarial facilities as specified in paragraph (1).

7. (1) Any person providing additional secretarial facilities under Regulation 6(1)(b) may be the same person as the secretarial assistant providing standard secretarial facilities under Regulation 6(1)(a).

(2) A member referred to in Regulation 6(1) is entitled to such additional secretarial facilities referred to in that Regulation only where he or she opts in writing, in such a manner and subject to such conditions as the Commission directs, from time to time, to exercise the entitlement.

8. (1) Each member of Seanad Éireann, who is availing of secretarial facilities under Regulation 6, is entitled to secretarial facilities consisting of 2 suites of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 and one set of facilities as specified in Parts 3 to 5 of Schedule 1.

(2) Members may be supplied with one tablet device in addition to the computer devices already provided for in paragraph (1) and any such tablet device provided shall not be counted for the purposes of determining the allocation of computer equipment to members and shall be discounted until the first occasion on which a computer (desktop PC or laptop) issued to the member is due to be replaced. On that occasion that computer shall not be replaced and shall be returned to the Commission by the member to whom it was issued unless the member has refunded to the Commission the full original purchase price (including VAT) of the tablet device issued pursuant to this paragraph.

(3) In the case of work sharing arrangements, referred to in Regulation 6(1), a maximum of one additional suite of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 may be issued to the member. In the case of the provision of additional secretarial facilities, referred to in Regulation 6(2), a maximum of one additional suite of computer equipment, as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1, may be issued to the member.

9. Each qualifying party is entitled to—

(a) secretarial facilities consisting of employees in accordance with the allocation set out in Schedule 2, and

(b) one or more suites of computer equipment specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the extent specified in Part 2 of that Schedule and such other facilities as specified in Parts 3 to 5 of Schedule 1.

10. (1) Persons on unpaid leave, career breaks or secondment to other employment shall not be reckoned in the number of persons employed under these Regulations.

(2) Persons employed as substitutes for persons providing secretarial facilities, including a substitute who remains employed for a period of time upon the return of a person providing secretarial facilities, such period being determined by the Commission, shall not be reckoned in the number of persons employed under these Regulations.

11. A person providing secretarial facilities under these Regulations is the employee of the person to whom the facility is provided under a contract of employment made between them.

12. A person providing secretarial facilities shall provide those facilities for—

(a) a member of Dáil Éireann, in Leinster House, or in or nearby the member’s constituency, or at or nearby the member’s residence,

(b) a member of Seanad Éireann, in Leinster House, or at or nearby the member’s residence, or

(c) a qualifying party, in Leinster House,

in accordance with the wishes of the member or the qualifying party, as the case may be, and secretarial facilities consisting of equipment may be provided by the Commission for location outside Leinster House to the extent necessary to give effect to this Regulation.

13. Every member of Dáil Éireann and every member of Seanad Éireann and every qualifying party is entitled to printing services from a centralised printing facility operating under the control of the Commission, according to such guidelines as may be drawn up by the Commission from time to time.

14. (1) Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party shall each be entitled to avail of the services of a graphic designer at administrative assistant level.

(2) Other qualifying parties and independent members shall share the services of one graphic designer at administrative assistant level.

(3) Each—

(a) qualifying party is entitled to an annual budget for outsourced graphic design facilities based on the aggregate sum of €398.23 for each member of that party, and

(b) independent member is entitled to such a budget of €398.23,

paid in accordance with Regulation 15.

(4) Paragraph (3) ceases to have effect on the dissolution of the 31st Dáil.

15. Payment of the graphic design outsourcing budget on the basis of expenditure incurred annually between the period 01 October in any year to 30 September in the following year, or if the Dáil is dissolved in that following year before 01 October upon such dissolution and vouched in accordance with the form set out in Schedule 3.

16. The following are revoked:

(a) the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2008 ( S.I. No. 36 of 2008 ),

(b) the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) (Graphic Design) Regulations 2009 ( S.I. No. 81 of 2009 ), and

(c) the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 ( S.I. No. 87 of 2010 ).

Regulations 5, 8 and 9

SCHEDULE 1

PART 1

A suite of computer equipment consists of the following equipment for use only by the member or qualifying party concerned, as the case may be, or by persons employed or engaged under these Regulations to provide secretarial facilities to the member or qualifying party, as the case may be:

(a) A computer (desktop PC, laptop or a tablet device) which may be linked to the network of the Houses of the Oireachtas,

(b) A printer, or a multi-function print/scan/copy device which may be a part of the integrated system for the transmission and receipt of fax messages referred to in paragraph (b) of Part 3,

(c) An e-mail account on the Houses of the Oireachtas network,

(d) Internet Access,

(e) An encrypted USB memory stick,

(f) A hardware, software or SMS-based multi-factor authentication token.

PART 2

Qualifying parties are to be provided with one or more suites of computer equipment as follows:

Number of members in Parliamentary Party

(1)

Number of suites of secretarial Party equipment

(2)

1 to 8 members

1

9 to 16 members

2

17 to 24 members

3

25 to 32 members

4

33 to 40 members

5

41 to 48 members

6

49 to 56 members

7

Greater than 56 members

8

PART 3

Each member and each qualifying party shall be entitled to the following facilities within Leinster House—

(a) Telephone handsets (with connectivity for local, national, mobile and international calls but excluding calls to premium rate numbers other than directory enquiry services, and with voicemail facilities where required) — at Leinster House only. One handset shall be supplied for each member and one handset shall be supplied for each person employed or engaged under these Regulations to provide secretarial facilities to the member in Leinster House,

(b) Access to a fax machine and a fax line or access to a system for the transmission and receipt of fax messages, such system being integrated into the e-mail system on the Houses of the Oireachtas network,

(c) Access to a television — at Leinster House only,

(d) Access to a shredder,

(e) Access to a document scanner.

PART 4

Each member and each qualifying party shall be entitled to the following facilities at a remote location of their choice—

(a) A shredder,

(b) A fax machine or access to a system for the transmission and receipt of fax messages, such system being integrated into an e-mail account on the Houses of the Oireachtas network,

(c) Access to a document scanner,

(d) Computer hardware to facilitate a network connection from one remote site to the Houses of the Oireachtas network for all computer equipment provided pursuant to these Regulations at that single remote site and connection to the internet only for up to two computers which were not provided pursuant to these Regulations.

PART 5

Each member and each qualifying party shall be entitled to a handheld digital dictation device.

Each member and each qualifying party shall be entitled to a transcription system in Leinster House or at a location of their choice for each member of staff engaged under these Regulations to provide secretarial facilities, subject to a limit of two transcription systems for each member of Dáil Éireann and one transcription system for each member of Seanad Éireann.

Regulation 9

SCHEDULE 2

Allocations for secretarial facilities for qualifying parties are set out below—

Party

Allocation of Secretarial Assistants

Fine Gael

26

Labour

13

Fianna Fáil

23

Sinn Féin

12.83

People Before Profit Alliance

1.6

Socialist

1.6

The grades at which persons employed by qualifying parties under these regulations shall, in addition to secretarial assistant, be the grades of administrative assistant, administrator and chef de cabinet and the equivalence of these grades to the grade of secretarial assistant and the manner in which and the extent to which they may be combined by qualifying parties shall be determined from time to time by the Commission.

Regulation 15

SCHEDULE 3

Voucher of Graphic Design Expenses

I, the undersigned, vouch that—

(a) the following graphic design expenses were incurred solely for—

[*] the purposes of facilitating my parliamentary duties, in accordance with section 2 (1)(c) of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act 1962 .

*the purposes of facilitating the parliamentary activities of the elected members of the ______________ party in accordance with section 10 (4) of the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Act 1938 .

(b) this graphic design work could not be provided by in-house graphic design facilities provided by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

(c) the external services procured represent value for money, and

(d) the expenditure was incurred between 01 October 20_ _ and 30 September 20_ _ or, if the Dáil is dissolved before 30 September in that year, the dissolution of the Dáil, whichever is the earlier.

Accordingly, I present these expenses to be paid out of ongoing expenditure of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

Company Item Quantity Cost

Vouched by: ______________ Date: ______________

[*] [delete as appropriate]

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The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Seal,

Affixed hereto

Was authenticated by

Member of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission:

Dated: 9 January 2013

SE?N BARRETT,

Ceann Comhairle.

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Member of staff of the Commission authorised by the Commission:

Dated: 9 January 2013

BREDA BURKE,

Secretary.