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Back to Chapter 1. Introduction by the Chairman of the Joint Committee

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Chapter 2. Summary of Recommendations

The Joint Committee recommends that the 2013 Act should be reviewed and amended in the light of the Banking Inquiry, to take account of the recommendations below, before consideration is given to the establishment of another Inquiry under the Act.

No. Recommendation Para ref
1 The 2013 Act should be amended to create a specific type of “inquire, record, report” inquiry, with power to make findings in relation to systems, practices, procedures or policy only. While this type of inquiry would have no power to make findings of fact in relation to a person who was not a member of the Houses, it would be subject to less onerous obligations in terms of fair procedures and consultation as a result. 4.18
2 The recommended timescale for a parliamentary inquiry into any matter of significant public interest is 24 months dating from the agreement by the Houses of the Relevant Proposal and Terms of Reference. (The comparator timescale for the Banking Inquiry was 14 months). 5.9
3 Identify and address any statutory or other impediments to Oireachtas Committees compelling documents. 5.15
4 Require the DPP to prepare general guidelines for Inquiry Committees on avoiding prejudice to criminal trials and investigations. 5.24
5 Agree a protocol for engagement between the DPP and the Oireachtas to manage the risk of prejudice arising in criminal trials while also respecting the separate role of the Oireachtas to conduct inquiries, to include a provision for imparting certain information to the Joint Committee Chairman only on a confidential basis. 5.25
6 Amend section 72(2) of the 2013 Act to reduce the minimum fourteen day period for the DPP to furnish a declaration to a more reasonable minimum. 5.26
7 In light of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, consider the issue of how members of both Houses deal with allegations brought to their attention, including guidance in relation to best practice for dealing with any such disclosures to ensure an appropriate balance between the right of access to a public representative and the right of those subjected to allegations to be fairly treated. 5.30, 5.31
8 Include appropriate transitional provisions in the 2013 Act to mitigate the impact of Dáil dissolution on the work of inquiries. 5.34
9 Improve the workability of the interim reporting provisions in the 2013 Act, in particular the potential to lighten the consultation process for interim reports. 5.34
10 Consider a joint approach by CPPs of both Houses to the evaluation of Relevant Proposals for the conduct of inquiries by Joint Committees. 6.9
11 Consider ways for the CPPs to engage and dialogue with a requesting Committee as part of the process of CPP evaluation. 6.12
12 Adapt the Banking Inquiry Operating Model and Memorandum of Procedures for use by future inquiries. 6.24
13 Review the 2013 Act to provide for the conduct of the preliminary investigation phase of inquiries by expert staff and delegation of powers to staff. 6.34
14 Consider the establishment of an Oireachtas Investigations Unit to support Committees in developing inquiry proposals. 6.36
15 Limit membership of future Part 2 Joint Committees of both Houses to a maximum of seven members. 6.55
16 Introduce comprehensive and appropriate sanctions for unauthorised disclosure of confidential material, to cover members of the Houses, and the staff of members and of Committees. 6.61
17 Provide specifically that the section 38 and 39 consultation processes with affected parties can be run concurrently under the 2013 Act. 6.66
18 Amend the 2013 Act and Standing Orders to remove the requirement for Dáil and Seanad approval to publish an Inquiry report. 6.70
19 With the exception of Central Bank material under s33AK, retain unpublished Banking Inquiry material indefinitely in a secure archive under the custody of the Clerks of both Houses. 6.86
20 Retain Central Bank material under s33AK for a contingency period of 12 months from the date of dissolution of the current Dáil. 6.87
21 Review all material in the Banking Inquiry Archive and agree a retention policy for material of historic relevance in the context of the Oireachtas Archive establishment project 2016-17. 6.88
22 Publish witness statements which have been redacted or not published on grounds of prejudice to criminal proceedings once the risk of prejudice has abated. 6.89
23 Ensure that there is sufficient time and resources to appropriately audit compliance with directions, where a decision is taken to compel the production of documents. 7.29
24 Remove the statutory requirement for pre-payment of expenses for criminal sanctions to take effect. Inability to meet the cost of attending should be a defence to the charge. 7.35
25 Amend the Commission guidelines to provide that witnesses may apply for pre-payment of expenses where they cannot meet the expenses of attending. 7.36
26 Include a standard provision in all contracts for expert advice services to Government requiring the contractor to cooperate with parliamentary inquiries where requested. 7.66
27 Agree an optimum staffing structure and terms and conditions to provide the necessary (expert, legal and administrative) staffing support for Joint Committee inquiries in the next and future Dáileanna. 8.17
28 Provide flexibility for the Oireachtas to recruit expert support, including removal of the requirement to obtain sanctions and approvals from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Commission for Public Service Appointments for fixed-term contract expert support positions. 8.18



Chapter 3. The Banking Inquiry in Numbers

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