To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government when the regulatory impact analysis of the new electoral commission Bill will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht undertook a public consultation process on the establishment of an electoral commission on the basis of a consultation paper prepared by my Department in 2015. The Committee published a report on the consultation in January 2016. This report contains a series of recommendations regarding the establishment of an electoral commission, including functions which should be assigned to it; independence, membership and accountability mechanisms; and the establishment process.
The report is informing the implementation of the commitment in A Programme for a Partnership Government on establishing an electoral commission, including the preparation of an Electoral Commission Bill to give effect to that commitment. My Department is, in the first instance, preparing a Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Bill, which I expect to publish in the coming weeks. The RIA will set out a number of options for establishing an electoral commission, including functions that might be assigned to it.
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