Adoption Act 2010

106.

Accountability of chief executive officer to other Oireachtas Committees.

106.— (1) In this section, “committee” means a committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas, other than—

( a) the Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann,

( b) the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Éireann, and

( c) the Committee referred to in section 105(1) ,

or a sub-committee of such a committee.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the chief executive officer, at the request in writing of a committee, shall attend before it to give account for the general administration of the Authority.

(3) The chief executive officer is not required to give account before a committee for any matter which is or has been or may at a future time be the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

(4) Where the chief executive officer is of opinion that a matter in respect of which he or she is requested to give an account before a committee is a matter to which subsection (3) applies—

( a) he or she shall inform the committee of the opinion and the reasons for it, and

( b) unless the information is conveyed to the committee at a time when the chief executive officer is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(5) Where the chief executive officer has informed a committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (4) and the committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) insofar as it relates to a matter the subject of that opinion—

( a) the chief executive officer, not later than 21 days after being informed by the committee of its decision not to withdraw the request, may apply to the High Court in a summary manner for determination of the question whether the matter is one to which subsection (3) applies, or

( b) the chairperson of the committee, on behalf of the committee, may make such an application,

and the High Court shall determine the matter.

(6) Pending determination of an application under subsection (5) , the chief executive officer shall not attend before the committee to give account for the matter that is the subject of the application.

(7) If the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (3) applies, the committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2), but if the High Court determines that subsection (3) does not apply, the chief executive officer shall attend before the committee to give account for the matter.

(8) In the performance of his or her duties under this section, the chief executive officer shall not question or express an opinion on the merits of any policy of the Government or a Minister of the Government or on the merits of the objectives of such a policy.