Appendix 1: Terms of Reference of the Select Committee on Social Affairs
(1)That a Select Committee, which shall be called the Select Committee on Social Affairs, be appointed consisting of 21 members of Dáil Éireann, in addition to the ex officio members of the Committee referred to in paragraph (3), to consider the following matters relating to social welfare, health, education, labour law, the Gaeltacht and equality, namely-
(i)the Estimates for Public Services relevant to the above-mentioned subjects,
(ii)the impact on equality of policy and legislation relevant to the above-mentioned subjects,
(iii)the Committee Stages of such Bills initiated in relation to those subjects as may be referred to the Select Committee under Standing Order 70* of the Standing Orders relative to Public Business,
(iv)such reports relevant to those subjects as Dáil Éireann may refer to the Select Committee for discussion, observations and recommendations,
and shall report thereon to Dáil Éireann.
(2)That the Select Committee shall have power to appoint sub-Committees and to delegate any matter comprehended by paragraph (1) to a sub-Committee.
(3)That the member of the Government in charge of the Department the statute law in respect of which is dealt with in a Bill which is referred to the Select Committee or a sub-Committee thereof or the Estimates for Public Services for which are considered by the Select Committee or a sub-Committee thereof shall be an ex officio member of such Committee or sub-Committee but such member of the Government may nominate a Minister or Minister of State to be such ex officio member in his stead.
(4)That the report of the Select Committee upon every Bill referred to it shall be set down for Report Stage in Dáil Éireann.
(5)That the Select Committee shall make an annual report to Dáil Éireann which shall detail
(i)the work carried out by the Committee,
(ii)the work in progress by the Committee,
(iii)the attendance and voting records at meetings of the Committee,
(iv)its future work programme, and
(v)such other matters as the Committee deems appropriate.
(6)That, subject to the consent of the Minister for Finance, the Select Committee shall have the power to engage the services of persons with specialist or technical knowledge to assist it or any of its sub-Committees in their consideration of any matters comprehended by paragraph (1).
(7)That the Select Committee may invite submissions in writing, if considered necessary by the Committee, from interested persons or bodies on any matter comprehended by paragraph (1).
(8)That, previous to the consideration of the Committee Stage of a Bill by the Select Committee, a briefing session or sessions shall be held between the officials of the relevant Department and members of the Select Committee (or sub-Committee as the case may be) and that such briefing session shall be held in private.
(9)That, in the absence from a particular meeting of the Select Committee (or of a sub-Committee) of a member, another member of Dáil Éireann, nominated by the Party or Group within the meaning of Standing Order 89** to which the absent member belongs, may take part in the proceedings and vote in his stead: Provided that in the case of a substitute nominated by a Party which is a Government Party, such substitute may be a member of another Government Party: Provided further that in the case of a substitute nominated by a Party which is an Opposition Party, such substitute may be a member of the Opposition.
(10)That the Select Committee and each sub-Committee, previous to the commencement of business, shall elect one of its members to be Chairman, who shall have only one vote.
(11)That all questions in the Select Committee and in each sub-Committee shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and voting and in the event of there being an equality of votes, the question shall be decided in the negative.
(12)That every report which the Select Committee proposes to make shall, on adoption by the Select Committee, be laid before Dáil Éireann forthwith, together with any document relating thereto which the Select Committee proposes to publish, whereupon the Select Committee shall be empowered to print and publish such report and the said document, or documents, as the case may be.
(13)That notwithstanding paragraph (12), where the Select Committee has completed Committee Stage of a Bill, it shall be empowered to print and publish the said Bill as amended, where appropriate.
(14)That the quorum of the Select Committee shall be five, and the quorum of each sub-Committee shall be a number to be decided by the sub-Committee when such sub-Committee is appointed.
(15)That no document received by the Clerk to the Select Committee or a sub-Committee thereof shall be with held, withdrawn or altered without the knowledge and approval of the Committee or sub-Committee, as may be appropriate.
(16)That Members of Dáil Éireann, not being members of the Select Committee, may attend meetings and take part in the proceedings of the Select Committee and of its sub-committees without having a right to vote.
(17)That the Select Committee shall have the power to discuss and draft proposals for legislative changes and new legislation for recommendation to Ministers which are relevant to the matters comprehended by paragraph (1).
(18)That the Select Committee shall have the power to receive submissions and hear evidence from interested persons and organisations.
(19)That the Select Committee shall have power to print and publish from time to time minutes of evidence taken before it or a sub-Committee thereof together with such related documents as it thinks fit.
(20)That Ministers and Ministers of State shall discuss with the Select Committee, where practicable, general proposals for legislation relevant to the matters comprehended by paragraph (1) prior to such legislation being approved and published by Government.
(21)That all appointees to high office in the State shall attend meetings of the Select Committee, as appropriate, and subject to the legal constraints of their office, to discuss issues which are relevant to the matters comprehended by paragraph (1).
(22)That Ministers and Ministers of State shall appear before the Select Committee to discuss current policies relevant to the matters comprehended by paragraph (1) and the implementation of such policies in their Departments. A Minister or Minister of State may request the Select Committee to convene to enable him or her to explain current or proposed policy or to initiate a debate thereon.
* Now Standing Order 77
** Now Standing Order 103