In April 2021, the Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage agreed its work programme for 2021 and laid it before both houses of the Oireachtas.
Dictated by standing orders, following the establishment of the Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage in 2020, the committee has published its draft work programme for the year ahead.
With a primary remit to consider bills, estimates and other business referred to it by Dáil Eireann, which relate to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the majority of the work of the Select Committee will relate to a volume of Bills included in the Government’s Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021 legislative programmes.
• Heritage Bill;
• Land Development Agency Bill;
• Marine Planning and Development Management Bill;
• Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill;
• Electoral (Reform) Bill;
• Emergency Management and Fire and Public Safety Bill;
• Heritage Bill;
• Housing and Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill;
• Local Government (Directly Elected Mayor – Limerick) Bill;
• Monuments and Archaeological Heritage Bill;
• Tailte Eireann Bill;
• Urban Area Committees Bill;
• Water Environment (Abstractions) Bill;
• Building Control (Construction Industry Register Ireland) Bill;
• Electoral (Amendment) Bill;
• Housing and Residential Tenancies Bill;
• Wildlife (Amendment) Bill; and
• Housing (Amendment) Bill.
In addition, the Committee is tasked with consideration of annual estimates for public services within its remit, meaning the Committee will consider the Minister’s spending plans for the forthcoming year and question the Minister on financial allocations and associated output targets. The Committee is not empowered to amend estimates.
Examination of the annual output statements (AOS) including performance, efficiency, and effectiveness in the use of public monies and value for money (VFM) reviews are another important part of scrutinising government expenditure. Additionally, motions and other matters may be referred to the Select Committee.
On 30 July, the Dáil passed an order that the work programme of each select committee should include consideration of:
• the State’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic;
• science, research and development and innovation; and
• progress on the development of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Committee deals with items of business referred to it by one or both houses and can also select business for consideration from areas within its terms of reference. The Joint Committee largely deals with EU business, as well as key policy and governance priorities.
In addition to its core business of legislation, for the period January 2021 to December 2021, the Committee should be able to focus on one or two major topics within the remit of the Department, with the aim of producing a well-researched report to both Houses by the end of the year.
Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage of the 33rd Dáil and the 26th Seanad:
Francis Noel Duffy, Green Party
Joe Flaherty, Fianna Fáil
Thomas Gould, Sinn Féin
Emer Higgins, Fine Gael
Paul McAuliffe, Fianna Fáil
Cian O’Callaghan, Social Democrats
Richard O’Donoghue, Independent
Eoin Ó Broin, Sinn Féin
Victor Boyhan, Independent
John Cummins, Fine Gael
Mary Fitzpatrick, Fianna Fáil
Rebecca Moynihan, Labour Party
Mary Seery Kearney, Fine Gael