Varadkar to give transport committee more input into formulation of statutory instruments
Minister for Transport says he believes in having a close relationship with the committee
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar: measuresintended as trial that could be extended to other departments and committees. Photograph: Alan Betson
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has agreed to give the Oireachtas transport committee a direct input into the formulation of important statutory instruments.
The chairman of the Oireachtas transport committee, John O’Mahony, said yesterday that the committee will now be consulted on all statutory instruments arising from European Union obligations.
“The current convention across government is that the Dáil is notified when a Minister implements a statutory instrument but the committee is not consulted,” said Mr O’Mahony. He said Mr Varadkar had agree that draft statutory instruments arising from EU obligations would be provided to the committee at least a month before he proposed to sign them into law.
“This will give us the opportunity to review the statutory instrument and propose any appropriate changes to the Minister. In responding to the committee, the Minister will have to comply with the proposed changes or propose a reasoned explanation as to why not,” said Mr O’Mahony.
He added that the Minister had agreed to provide a reasoned response to any recommendations made by the committee within four months.
“Both of these measures will further strengthen the role of the joint committee in the legislative and policy process,” said Mr O’Mahony.
Mr Varadkar said that since becoming Minister he had believed in having a close relationship with the committee.
“They have been consulted at the pre-Heads of Bill stage in relation to a number of pieces of legislation, and have held hearings for more than a dozen incoming chairpersons of State agencies.” He said the measures were intended as a trial which could be extended to other departments and committees.