S.I. No. 89/2021 - Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices)(Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2021


Notice of the making of this Statutory Instrument was published in

“Iris Oifigiúil” of 5th March, 2021.

The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by—

(a) subsection (1)(c) (inserted by the Oireachtas (Miscellaneous Provisions) and Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices (Amendment) Act 1996 (No. 39 of 1996)) of section 2 of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act 1962 (No. 32 of 1962),

(b) section 10(5) and (13) (substituted by section 2 of the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act 2014 (No. 6 of 2014)) of the Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Act 1938 (No. 38 of 1938), and

(c) section 4 (3) of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003 (No. 28 of 2003),

hereby makes the following regulations:

Introduction, General, etc.

1. These Regulations may be cited as the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2021.

2. (1) In these Regulations—

“Commission” means the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and, where the context requires, also includes the Houses of the Oireachtas Service;

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

“information systems facilities” means those facilities (including equipment) provision of which is contemplated, as the case may be, by Regulation 6 or 10, or by both those Regulations;

“Leinster House” includes any office premises provided by the State in the vicinity of Leinster House for use by members of either House of the Oireachtas;

“Ministerial Office” means the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, or another Minister of the Government, or a Minister of State;

“Parliamentary Office” means the Chairman of Dáil Éireann, the Deputy Chairman of Dáil Éireann, the Chairman of Seanad Éireann, or the Deputy Chairman of Seanad Éireann;

“pensions administrator”, in relation to pension arrangements referred to in Regulation 7(1)(d), means—

(a) a Minister of the Government,

(b) a person duly appointed, or a class of persons duly appointed, pursuant to statute by such a Minister, or

(c) the trustees of such arrangements;

“special secretarial allowance” means the special secretarial allowance provided for by subsection (2A) (inserted by section 16 of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court Offices (Amendment) Act 1998 (No. 5 of 1998)) of section 2 of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act 1962 (No. 32 of 1962) and any regulations made in furtherance of that subsection.

(2) In these Regulations, a “Group” means a body of members of either House of the Oireachtas that is recognized as a Group in accordance with the Standing Orders of that House, but that definition does not apply where any constituent element of the Group is a qualifying party unless that Group is listed in Schedule 4.

(3) A reference to a person in these Regulations as the holder of a Ministerial Office or as the holder of a Parliamentary Office is a reference to the member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann who holds that office, and nothing in these Regulations purports to confer any entitlement on a person by reason of his or her continuing to hold the office beyond the date on which he or she ceased to be such a member.

3. In respect of the entitlement of a member of either House of the Oireachtas to secretarial facilities by way of employees, a reference in these Regulations to a full-time equivalent or a half-time equivalent at a particular grade—

(a) is a description of a unit of labour only,

(b) is to an employee at that grade working full-time or half-time respectively, or to such number of employees at that grade working part-time as is equivalent to an employee at that grade working full-time or half-time, as the case may be, and

(c) does not confer any entitlement to employees at a different grade other than as specifically provided for in these Regulations.

Personnel – Members

4. (1) Each member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann other than a member who holds a Ministerial Office or a Parliamentary Office is entitled to standard secretarial facilities in accordance with the second row of the Table in Part 1 of Schedule 2.

(2) (a) Each member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann other than a member who holds a Ministerial Office or a Parliamentary Office is entitled to additional secretarial facilities in accordance with the third row of the Table in Part 1 of Schedule 2, subject to the alternative specified in subparagraph (b) and the conditions specified in subparagraph (c).

(b) A member of Dáil Éireann who would otherwise, having complied with subparagraph (c), be entitled to additional secretarial facilities by way of a parliamentary assistant full-time equivalent, may, in cases which the Commission considers exceptional, and with the consent of the Commission, instead avail of those facilities by way of a secretarial assistant full-time equivalent.

(c) A member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann referred to in subparagraph (a) is entitled to additional secretarial facilities referred to at subparagraph (a) or, as regards a member of Dáil Éireann, subparagraph (b), only where he or she opts in writing, in such a manner and subject to such conditions as the Commission from time to time directs, to exercise the entitlement; that direction may also set out the manner in which and the conditions subject to which the option may be rescinded.

(d) A person providing additional secretarial facilities as contemplated by subparagraph (a) to a member of Seanad Éireann who is not the holder of a Ministerial Office or a Parliamentary Office may be the same person as the person providing standard secretarial facilities to that member as contemplated by paragraph (1).

(3) (a) Each member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann who holds a Ministerial Office or a Parliamentary Office is entitled to standard secretarial facilities in accordance with the second row of the Table in Part 2 of Schedule 2, but that entitlement is, as regards the Chairman of Dáil Éireann and the Deputy Chairman of Dáil Éireann, subject to subparagraph (b).

(b) Where either the Chairman of Dáil Éireann or the Deputy Chairman of Dáil Éireann avails of the special secretarial allowance then, during the period in respect of which he or she so avails of it, he or she is entitled, in substitution for the entitlement to standard secretarial facilities provided for in subparagraph (a), to reduced secretarial facilities in accordance with the third row of the Table in Part 2 of Schedule 2.

(c) Where the holder of a Ministerial Office or the holder of a Parliamentary Office would otherwise be entitled, as the case may be, to one parliamentary assistant full-time equivalent or to 2 parliamentary assistant full-time equivalents, he or she may, in cases which the Commission considers exceptional, and with the consent of the Commission, be afforded in substitution for that entitlement or, as the case may be, for either of those entitlements, additional secretarial facilities by way of one secretarial assistant full-time equivalent.

(4) (a) Without prejudice to any of the foregoing, this paragraph applies to a member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann in each of the following cases subject to such conditions as the Commission directs:

(i) where the Commission is satisfied that the provision of the further facility in question is warranted by reason of the member’s disability;

(ii) where the member has been appointed by a Group as its co-ordinator.

(b) The Commission may, upon the written application of that member, and with the consent of the Commission, provide the member with further secretarial facilities by way of employees—

(i) up to and including one secretarial assistant full-time equivalent if clause (i) of subparagraph (a) applies to that member,

(ii) up to and including one secretarial assistant full-time equivalent and one administrative assistant half-time equivalent if and so long as clause (ii) of subparagraph (a) applies to that member, and

(iii) up to and including 2 secretarial assistant full-time equivalents and one administrative assistant half-time equivalent if and so long as both clauses (i) and (ii) of subparagraph (a) apply to that member.

(5) This Regulation is intended to take effect in tandem with Regulation 9 of the Oireachtas (Allowances and Facilities) Regulations 2010 ( S.I. No. 84 of 2010 ) as amended by Regulation 8 of the Oireachtas (Allowances and Facilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 ( S.I. No. 149 of 2013 ) (in this paragraph together referred to as the “Regulations of 2010”) and any Regulations made in substitution for the Regulations of 2010, and, accordingly:

(a) nothing in these Regulations, other than where expressly contemplated, is intended incidentally to have the effect of conferring on any person or of conferring in any instance an entitlement to the special secretarial allowance under the Regulations of 2010, and

(b) where a member of either House of the Oireachtas who holds a Ministerial Office or a Parliamentary Office is entitled to secretarial facilities by way of employees, then he or she may avail of that entitlement without prejudice to his or her entitlement to avail of the special secretarial allowance except so far as paragraph (3)(b) applies,

(c) but, in respect of any entitlement under this Regulation to which paragraph (3)(b) does not apply, this Regulation is not to be construed so as to enable any person mentioned in subparagraph (b) of this paragraph who chooses not to avail of that entitlement to avail of the special secretarial allowance in an amount greater than if he or she had availed of the entitlement.

5. (1) A woman who is a member of either House of the Oireachtas is, subject to any conditions that the Commission directs with regard to medical certification of pregnancy or otherwise, during a period of 26 consecutive weeks commencing no later than the first anniversary of her giving birth, entitled to standard secretarial facilities (temporary) consisting of one secretarial assistant full-time equivalent.

(2) A member of either House of the Oireachtas is, subject to any conditions as to certification of the placement or intended placement of the relevant child for adoption or otherwise as the Commission directs, during a period of 26 consecutive weeks commencing no later than the first anniversary of the date of placement of that child, entitled to standard secretarial facilities (temporary) consisting of one secretarial assistant full-time equivalent.

(3) The period of 26 consecutive weeks during which a member of either House of the Oireachtas may avail of standard secretarial facilities (temporary) as contemplated by paragraph (1) or (2) may commence on a date before the contemplated birth or placement for adoption, subject to the conditions mentioned in those paragraphs.

(4) Where a person would, by reason of a birth or placement for adoption, have become entitled to standard secretarial facilities (temporary) by virtue of this Regulation but for his or her not having been a member of either House of the Oireachtas at the date of that birth or placement and—

(a) not later than the first anniversary of the date of that birth or placement the person becomes a member of either House,

(b) not later than the first anniversary of the date of that birth or placement the person satisfies any condition with regard to certification of the birth or placement or any other condition as may be directed by the Commission, and

(c) the first anniversary of the date of that birth or placement has not passed before the commencement of the period of 26 consecutive weeks during which the person wishes to avail of those standard secretarial facilities (temporary),

then the person, having so become a member of one of the Houses, is entitled to avail of those standard secretarial facilities (temporary) accordingly.

(5) Subject to paragraph (6), nothing in this Regulation purports to confer an entitlement to standard secretarial facilities (temporary) on a person who ceases to be a member of either House of the Oireachtas, and every period referred to in this Regulation is subject to immediate cesser should the person availing of those facilities cease to be a member.

(6) Where—

(a) a member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann had availed of standard secretarial facilities (temporary),

(b) his or her entitlement to avail of those facilities ceased because of, as the case may be, a dissolution of Dáil Éireann or the cessation of Seanad Éireann immediately consequent on that dissolution, and

(c) he or she becomes a member of either House of the Oireachtas—

(i) at the general election for Dáil Éireann immediately consequent on that dissolution,

(ii) at the general election for members of Seanad Éireann immediately consequent on that dissolution, or

(iii) by consenting to a nomination by the Taoiseach to be a member of the Seanad for which the general election referred to in clause (ii) was held,

he or she may within 4 weeks of his or her so becoming a member of the House in question commence availing of standard secretarial facilities (temporary) for a period of consecutive weeks equivalent to the difference between 26 weeks and the number of weeks during which he or she had previously availed of those facilities, but should the facilities have been availed of for not more than 3 working days in the last of the latter number of weeks, that week is not to be counted in reckoning the difference.

(7) The Commission may, for reasons of a humanitarian nature related to a birth or adoption or contemplated birth or adoption the subject of this Regulation, upon written application by or on behalf of a member of either House of the Oireachtas, and with the consent of the Commission, permit the member to avail of standard secretarial facilities (temporary) for a period not longer than 34 consecutive weeks in lieu of the 26 consecutive weeks referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2), and, if such permission is granted—

(a) the reference to 26 consecutive weeks in paragraphs (3) and (4) and to 26 weeks in paragraph (6) is deemed to be a reference to the number of weeks encompassed in the extended period, and

(b) paragraphs (3), (4), (5), and (6) of this Regulation apply to that extended period accordingly.

(8) The Commission may for the purposes of this Regulation give directions about the grades and functions of personnel among the employees of the Commission who may—

(a) receive certifications and other information and evidence for the purpose of this Regulation, and

(b) take decisions on behalf of the Commission as contemplated by this Regulation or that may be necessary to give effect to entitlements conferred by it.

Information Systems Facilities – Members

6. (1) Each member of Dáil Éireann is entitled to secretarial facilities consisting of 3 suites of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1, and to one set of facilities as specified in Parts 2 to 4 of that Schedule.

(2) Each member of Seanad Éireann is entitled to secretarial facilities consisting of 2 suites of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1, and to one set of facilities as specified in Parts 2 to 4 of that Schedule.

(3) Where secretarial facilities referred to in Regulation 4(4) are provided to a member of either House, one additional suite of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 may be issued to the relevant member—

(a) for each secretarial assistant full-time equivalent provided to him or her under subparagraph (b) of Regulation 4(4), and

(b) for any administrative assistant half-time equivalent provided to him or her under subparagraph (b)(ii) or (iii) of Regulation 4(4),

but, in any instance where the secretarial facilities are provided to the member because he or she has been appointed by a Group as its co-ordinator, that issue is subject to paragraph (6) of this Regulation.

(4) Subject to paragraphs (5)(b) and (6) of this Regulation, where standard secretarial facilities (temporary) referred to in Regulation 5 are provided to a member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann, one additional suite of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 may be issued to that member.

(5) (a) Should any of the employees to whom a member of Dáil Éireann or a member of Seanad Éireann is entitled under Regulation 4 be permitted to engage in work-sharing arrangements, a maximum of one additional suite of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 may be issued to the member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann concerned.

(b) Without prejudice to subparagraph (a), and subject to paragraph (6) of this Regulation, should an employee to whom a member of Dáil Éireann or a member of Seanad Éireann is entitled under Regulation 5 be permitted to engage in work-sharing arrangements, a maximum of one further additional suite of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 may be issued to the member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann concerned.

(6) (a) Computer equipment issued to a member of either House of the Oireachtas because he or she has been appointed by a Group as its co-ordinator may only be retained by him or her so long as he or she retains that appointment and in accordance with the relevant decision of the Commission.

(b) Computer equipment issued in accordance with paragraph (4) or (5)(b) to a member of either House of the Oireachtas because the member is in receipt of standard secretarial facilities (temporary) may only be retained by the member so long as the member is in receipt of those facilities.

(7) Secretarial facilities consisting of equipment may, where practicable, be provided by the Commission to a member of either House of the Oireachtas for any location outside Leinster House where an employee retained by the member pursuant to these Regulations is required to work for the member at that location pursuant to the contract of employment between them.

7. (1) The following are additional restrictions and conditions for the purposes of section 2(1)(c) of the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act 1962 , subject to which information systems facilities are provided pursuant to Regulation 6:

(a) a member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann must on his or her first receipt of any piece of equipment forming part of the information systems facilities sign the agreement the terms of which are set out in Schedule 5, and in relation to all matters arising from the provision to him or her of those facilities he or she is subject to the terms of the agreement and must abide by it,

(b) the Commission may at any time discontinue the provision of the information systems facilities, or any aspect of them, to a member of either House of the Oireachtas who stands in breach of that agreement and may take any other step provided for in the agreement to ensure the member’s compliance,

(c) a member of either House must indemnify the Commission against any liability the Commission may incur through the member’s possession, control, or use of the information systems facilities,

(d) a member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann by availing of the information systems facilities, or any equipment, facility, device, system, or other matter forming part of them, consents to the deduction from any sums due to him or her—

(i) by the Commission (whether by way of salary or termination or other allowance or otherwise) or

(ii) by the pensions administrator having charge of any pension arrangements that may be applicable by virtue of his or her membership of either House to him or her (and whether during the currency of that membership or after it has ceased),

in full or part satisfaction of any liability of the member to the Commission as contemplated by subparagraph (c) (including for breach of the agreement mentioned in subparagraph (a)),

and

(e) a reference in this Regulation 7(1) to anything done or omitted to be done by a member of either House is equally a reference to anything done or omitted to be done by any person on the member’s behalf.

(2) (a) If, at the time these Regulations were made, any equipment, facilities, devices, or systems stood provided to a member of either House of the Oireachtas pursuant to the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2016 ( S.I. No. 599 of 2016 ), that member must within 21 days of the making of these Regulations return, have disconnected, or otherwise cease to use, that equipment, and those facilities, devices, and systems, and, on his or her doing so, he or she may have information systems facilities provided to him or her pursuant to these Regulations.

(b) Where a member of either House within the period referred to in subparagraph (a) of this paragraph, or such longer period as the Information and Communications Technology Unit of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service may allow, signs the agreement mentioned in subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1), he or she is deemed to have signed that agreement in compliance with that subparagraph, and subparagraph (a) of this paragraph is deemed never to have applied to the member.

(3) Nothing in these Regulations limits or otherwise affects the Commission’s entitlement to impose charges under section 4(4A) (substituted by section 4(c) of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2009 (No. 44 of 2009)) of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003 .

Qualifying Parties

8. (1) Each qualifying party is, subject to paragraph (2), entitled, in accordance with the allocation set out in the Table in Part 1 of Schedule 3, to secretarial facilities by way of employees (being a number of personnel determined in accordance with this Regulation).

(2) The allocation referred to in paragraph (1) and Part 1 of Schedule 3 must be applied subject to the following subparagraphs—

(a) for the purpose of reckoning each qualifying party’s entitlement in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 3, and, where the context requires, in construing any reference in this Regulation to an employee or to employees, each employee is assumed to be retained at the grade of secretarial assistant;

(b) persons employed by qualifying parties under these Regulations other than pursuant to Regulation 9 or 15 may be employed by those parties at the grade of secretarial assistant, or at the grades of administrative assistant, administrator, senior administrator, or chef de cabinet, or at such other grades as may be established from time to time by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform;

(c) the equivalence of those other grades to the grade of secretarial assistant and the manner in which, and the extent to which, they may be combined by qualifying parties is determined from time to time by the Commission;

(d) every political party enjoying the status of a qualifying party at the date when these Regulations were made must be allocated at any time while the party continues to enjoy that status at least one employee pursuant to this Regulation;

(e) each qualifying party is additionally entitled to employ a person or persons who is or are covered by the collective agreement commonly known and referred to as the “Red Circle Agreement”, subject to such conditions as the Commission directs, and the allocation of employees in accordance with Part 1 or 2 of Schedule 3 does not restrict that entitlement;

(f) where, after these Regulations are made, but before, as may be appropriate, the dissolution of the 33rd Dáil Éireann or the cessation of the 26th Seanad Éireann—

(i) a candidate is elected to either House of the Oireachtas at a bye-election, or the Taoiseach nominates a person to be a member of Seanad Éireann, and

(ii) because of that election or nomination a party not listed in Part 1 of Schedule 3 becomes a qualifying party—

then that qualifying party is entitled to be allocated pursuant to this Regulation secretarial facilities consisting of one employee.

9. (1) Without prejudice to Regulation 8, a qualifying party specified in the Table in Part 2 of Schedule 3 is, subject to paragraph (2), also entitled, in accordance with the allocation set out in that Part, to secretarial facilities by way of employees (being a number of personnel determined in accordance with this Regulation).

(2) The allocation referred to in paragraph (1) and Part 2 of Schedule 3 must be applied subject to the following subparagraphs—

(a) for the purpose of reckoning the entitlement of each qualifying party specified in Part 2 of Schedule 3 in accordance with that Part, and where the context requires, in construing any reference in this Regulation to an employee or to employees, each employee is assumed to be retained at the grade of administrative assistant;

(b) persons employed by qualifying parties under this Regulation may be employed by those parties at the grade of administrative assistant, or at the grades of secretarial assistant, administrator, senior administrator, or chef de cabinet, or at such other grades as may be established from time to time by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform;

(c) the equivalence of those other grades to the grade of administrative assistant and the manner in which, and the extent to which, they may be combined by qualifying parties is determined from time to time by the Commission.

10. (1) Each qualifying party is entitled to secretarial facilities consisting of one suite of computer equipment as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 for each employee provided for in Regulation 8 and, where applicable, Regulation 9, and the other facilities specified in Part 2 of Schedule 1.

(2) Where the number of employees to which a qualifying party is entitled under Regulation 8 or 9 is a fraction (including a mixed fraction), that number is, for the purposes of paragraph (1), to be rounded up to the next integer.

(3) Should any of the employees to whom a qualifying party is entitled under Regulation 8 or 9 be permitted to engage in work-sharing arrangements, a maximum of one additional suite of computer equipment, as specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1, may be issued to the qualifying party in question.

Generally Applicable Provisions regarding Personnel

11. The following are not to be reckoned in the number of persons employed under these Regulations—

(a) 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, that period being determined by the Commission, or

(b) persons on unpaid leave, career breaks or secondment to other employment.

12. A person providing secretarial facilities under these Regulations is the employee of the member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann or of the qualifying party to whom or to which the facility is provided under a contract of employment made between them.

13. Where a member of the 33rd Dáil Éireann or the 26th Seanad Éireann has exercised an option in the nature of the option referred to in Regulation 4(2)(c) before these Regulations were made, he or she is to be treated for all purposes of these Regulations as having exercised that option pursuant to these Regulations.

Printing

14. Every member of Dáil Éireann and every member of Seanad Éireann and every qualifying party is entitled to printing services from a centralized 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.

Graphic Design

15. (1) Those qualifying parties with the greatest, second greatest, and third greatest number of members elected to the 33rd Dáil Éireann are each entitled to avail of the services of one graphic designer at administrative assistant level.

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

(3) A person providing graphic design services under this Regulation is the employee of the qualifying party, qualifying parties, or independent member or members, or the relevant combination of them, to which or to whom the facility is provided under a contract of employment made between the party, parties, person, or persons in question.

(4) 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 who is a member of either House of the Oireachtas, and

(b) independent member is entitled to such a budget of €398.23, paid in accordance with Regulation 16.

(5) Paragraph (4) ceases to have effect on the dissolution of the 33rd Dáil.

16. Payment of the graphic design outsourcing budget is effected on the basis of expenditure incurred annually between 1 October in any year and 30 September in the following year, inclusive of the latter date, or, if the Dáil is dissolved before 1 October in that following year, between 1 October in the first mentioned year and that dissolution, and, in any event, vouched in accordance with the form set out in Schedule 6.

Revocation

17. The following are revoked—

(a) the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2016;

(b) the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 ( S.I. No. 426 of 2018 );

(c) the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 ( S.I. No. 167 of 2019 );

(d) the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 ( S.I. No. 568 of 2019 ).

Regulations 6 and 10

SCHEDULE 1

PART 1

A suite of computer equipment consists of the following equipment for use only by the member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann concerned, or by persons employed or engaged under these Regulations (other than Regulation 15) to provide secretarial facilities to that member, or by persons employed or engaged under these Regulations (other than Regulation 15) to provide secretarial facilities to the qualifying party concerned, as the case may be—

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

(b) where the suite is allocated to a member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann, a multi-function print/scan/copy device, and where the suite is allocated to a qualifying party, access to such a device,

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

(d) internet access, and

(e) a software or SMS-based multi-factor authentication token.

PART 2

1. Within Leinster House—

(a) each member of either House of the Oireachtas who is not the holder of a Ministerial Office, and

(b) each qualifying party,

is entitled to facilities as set out in paragraph 2(a) on the terms set out in paragraph 2(b).

2. (a) The facilities referred to in paragraph 1 are—

(i) telephone handsets,

(ii) access to a television, and

(iii) access to a shredder.

(b) The terms referred to in paragraph 1 are—

(i) telephone handsets are to be provided in Leinster House only,

(ii) the handsets must have connectivity for local, national, mobile and international calls, and must include voicemail facilities where required, but must not allow connectivity to premium rate numbers other than directory enquiry services,

(iii) in relation to the entitlement of members of either House, one handset must be supplied for each member and one handset must be supplied for each person employed or engaged under these Regulations (other than Regulation 15) to provide secretarial facilities to that member in Leinster House,

(iv) in relation to the entitlement of a qualifying party, one handset must be supplied for each person employed or engaged under these Regulations (other than Regulation 15) to provide secretarial facilities to that qualifying party in Leinster House, and

(v) access to a television is to be provided at Leinster House only.

3. (a) Each member of either House of the Oireachtas who is the holder of a Ministerial Office is entitled to the facilities provided for in paragraph 2(a)(iii) and, subject to the term imposed by paragraph 2(b)(v), to television access provided for in paragraph 2(a)(ii).

(b) Each member of either House who is the holder of a Ministerial Office is entitled to one telephone handset within Leinster House by way of extension to the offices of the Department of State in respect of which he or she holds that Office.

(c) The telephone handset referred to in subparagraph (b) must have connectivity for local, national, mobile and international calls, and must include voicemail facilities where required, but must not allow connectivity to premium rate numbers other than directory enquiry services.

PART 3

Each member of either House of the Oireachtas is entitled to the following facilities—

(a) at one remote location of his or her choice, a shredder, and

(b) where technically feasible, an encrypted internet connection to the Oireachtas network from one remote location of his or her choice for all computer equipment provided pursuant to these Regulations at that remote site, as well as hardware or software or both to facilitate that connection.

PART 4

Each member of Dáil Éireann or of Seanad Éireann may be supplied with one tablet device in addition to the computer devices already provided for in Part 1.

Regulation 4

SCHEDULE 2

PART 1

Member of Dáil Éireann (not being specified in Part 2)

Member of Seanad Éireann (not being specified in Part 2)

Standard

1 secretarial assistant full-time equivalent

1 secretarial assistant half-time equivalent

Additional

1 parliamentary assistant full-time equivalent

1 secretarial assistant half-time equivalent

PART 2

Taoiseach, Tánaiste, any other Minister of the Government, Minister of State, Chairman of Seanad Éireann, Deputy Chairman of Seanad Éireann

Chairman of Dáil Éireann, Deputy Chairman of Dáil Éireann

Standard

1 secretarial assistant full-time equivalent and 1 parliamentary assistant full-time equivalent

1 secretarial assistant full-time equivalent and 2 parliamentary assistant full-time equivalents

Reduced

Not applicable

1 secretarial assistant full-time equivalent and 1 parliamentary assistant full-time equivalent

Regulations 8 and 9

SCHEDULE 3

PART 1

Allocations of secretarial facilities to qualifying parties pursuant to Regulation 8(1) are set out below—

Party

Allocation of Employees

Sinn Féin

27¼

Fianna Fáil

16¼

Fine Gael

14¼

Labour

6

Social Democrats

4

Green Party

Solidarity - People Before Profit

Independents4Change

1

Aontú

1

PART 2

Allocations of secretarial facilities to qualifying parties specified pursuant to Regulation 9(1) are set out below—

Party

Allocation of Employees

Sinn Féin

3

Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael

Labour

1

Green Party

½

Social Democrats

½

Solidarity - People Before Profit

½

Regulation 2

SCHEDULE 4

Groups with a qualifying party as a constituent element still to be reckoned for the purposes of the definition in Regulation 2(2)—

Civil Engagement Group

Independent Group

Regional Group.

Regulation 7

SCHEDULE 5

Information Systems Facilities User’s Agreement

Between the following Parties:

THE HOUSES OF THE OIREACHTAS COMMISSION

-AND-

A.B., MEMBER OF D?IL/SEANAD ÉIREANN

I, _______________, hereby

(a) acknowledge that—

(i) I have been provided with a copy of Regulations 6 and 7 of the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2021, and have read those Regulations 6 and 7 (the term “information systems facilities” encompassing all facilities (including equipment as defined at paragraph (c) below) provision of which is contemplated by Regulation 6);

(ii) to the extent that I need professional advice to understand those Regulations 6 and 7 I have obtained that advice;

(iii) I understand those Regulations 6 and 7 and the duties they impose on me;

(b) enter into this agreement in consideration of the provision to me of the information systems facilities, and the services, support, and ancillary facilities provided by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (the “Commission”), in particular through the Information and Communications Technology Unit of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service (the “ICT Unit”), in connection with the information systems facilities (the sufficiency of which consideration each above identified party to this Agreement acknowledges);

(c) agree to retain in a safe place any equipment (which term in this agreement includes devices and other hardware) from time to time forming part of the information systems facilities which has been or may be issued to me for use in connection with my duties as a member of one of the Houses of the Oireachtas;

(d) agree to notify the ICT Unit of any change in the location of that equipment;

(e) agree to promptly return that equipment to the ICT Unit—

(i) subject to any applicable guidelines that may be in place from time to time pursuant to statute, on the dissolution of the Dáil/cessation of the Seanad [delete as applicable];

(ii) upon my ceasing (for whatever reason other than at (i)) to be a member of either House of the Oireachtas;

(iii) from time to time as may be necessary for the purpose of essential repairs to, or the updating, reconfiguration, or replacement of, the equipment;

(iv) when requested by an appropriate member of the staff of the ICT Unit.

I further agree that my signature entered on this form, which will be retained in the ICT Unit or such other office as may be decided from time to time, constitutes my acknowledgement and acceptance that—

(1) any equipment that I have received has been received in good order and that equipment and any other equipment I may be supplied with as part of the information systems facilities remains the property of the Commission;

(2) I must take all necessary precautions to safeguard the information systems facilities against misuse, loss, or damage of any kind;

(3) I am liable for all costs arising from any misuse or loss of the equipment, or any damage to it, or any misuse of the other information systems facilities provided to me in connection with the equipment (including by way of breach of any acceptable usage policy published by the Commission);

(4) I will be liable to the Commission in the sum of €200 by way of liquidated damages should I fail to keep the appointment that the ICT Unit will make with me to facilitate my return of equipment as provided for at paragraph (e) above, unless I rescheduled that appointment not later than 48 hours in advance;

(5) the Houses of the Oireachtas Service will only make one such appointment and will only permit rescheduling once, and my failure to keep that appointment or rescheduled appointment will be deemed for the purposes of this agreement to be my failure to return the equipment in question;

(6) should I fail to return the equipment when requested pursuant to paragraph (e) above I will be liable for the depreciated value of the equipment;

(7) any liability comprehended by paragraphs (3) to (6) inclusive that may arise will be met by me in the manner set out in Regulation 7 as mentioned above or any in other manner that the Commission, at its sole discretion, may permit;

(8) in respect of:

(a) any tablet provided to me as part of the information systems facilities,

(b) the connection I am permitted to make of any smartphone or other mobile computing device to the Oireachtas network, and

(c) any cloud computing service I am facilitated in availing of,

that provision, permission, or facilitation is subject to

(i) all warnings from the ICT Unit about legal or technical limitations relating to the use of the facility in question, and

(ii) all reservations that the Commission makes in relation to that facility to secure the Commission’s own obligations regarding it,

of which the ICT Unit may advise me from time to time;

(9) I am under a legal duty to comply with all licensing requirements/obligations; and

(10) I must procure that my employees, agents, and all other persons acting on my behalf comply with the terms of this Agreement (including the acceptable usage policy mentioned in paragraph (3)).

Signature:

_____________________

Date:

_____________________

On behalf of the ICT Unit

Member’s Signature:

_________________

Date:

_____________________

Regulation 16

SCHEDULE 6

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(5) 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 1 October 20_ _ and 30 September 20_ _ or, if the Dáil is dissolved before 1 October 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]

Given under the Seal of The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Seal,

Affixed hereto was authenticated by

Member of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission

24 February 2021

SE?N Ó FEARGHA?L,

Ceann Comhairle

Member of staff of the Commission authorized by the Commission:

24 February 2021

ANNE-MARIE FAHY,

Secretary

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.