Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011

24.

Accountability of Chief Executive to other Oireachtas Committees.

24.— (1) Subject to subsection (3), the Chief Executive shall, at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to give account for the general administration of the Authority as is required by the Committee.

(2) In giving evidence to a Committee under this section, the Chief Executive 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.

(3) The Chief Executive shall not be 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—

( a) proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State, or

( b) a decision or determination by the Authority or Appeal Board, as the case may be, in respect of a particular person.

(4) Where the Chief Executive is of the opinion that a matter, the subject of a request under subsection (1), is a matter to which subsection (3) applies, he or she shall inform the Committee concerned of that opinion and the reasons for that opinion and unless the information is conveyed to the Committee at a time when the Chief Executive is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(5) Where the Chief Executive has informed the Committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (4) and the Committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (1) in so far as it relates to a matter the subject of that opinion—

( a) the Chief Executive may, not later than 21 days after being informed by the Committee of its decision not to do so, 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 may, on behalf of the Committee, make such an application,

and the High Court shall determine the matter.

(6) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (5), the Chief Executive shall not attend before the Committee to give account for the matter 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 (1), but if the High Court determines that subsection (3) does not apply, the Chief Executive shall attend before the Committee to give account for the matter.

(8) 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 referred to in section 23(1) or a subcommittee of such committee,

( b) the Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann or a subcommittee of such committee, or

( c) the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Éireann or a subcommittee of such committee.