Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013
Exemption of certain evidence, etc., from section 67 .
71.— (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act (including section 94 where paragraph (d) of subsection (6) of that section applies), a committee shall not direct a person to give evidence or a document to it or attend before it to, give evidence or a document to it—
( a) relating to discussions at a meeting of the Government or a committee appointed by the Government whose membership consists of members of the Government,
( b) relating to discussions at a meeting of a committee appointed by the Government whose membership consists of one or more members of the Government together with one or more Ministers of State or the Attorney General if—
(i) the holding of the meeting was authorised by the Government,
(ii) the proceedings of the meeting were required by the Government to be reported to them, and
(iii) the Secretary to the Government so states in a document signed by him or her and furnished to the Oireachtas committee concerned,
( c) if the evidence or document could, if given to it, reasonably be expected to prejudice any criminal proceedings that are pending or in progress in the State or any criminal investigation that is currently being conducted in the State,
( d) if the evidence or document could, if given to it, reasonably be expected to adversely affect the security of the State or to be prejudicial to the State in its relations with other states,
( e) if the evidence or document could, if given to it, reasonably be expected to prejudice—
(i) the prevention, detection or investigation of offences,
(ii) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, or
(iii) the effectiveness of lawful methods, systems, plans or procedures employed for the purposes of the prevention, detection or investigation of offences or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
( f) relating to information kept for the purpose of assessing the liability of a person in respect of a tax or duty or other payment owed or payable to the State, a local authority within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2001, or the Health Service Executive, or for the purpose of collecting an amount due in respect of such a tax or duty or other payment, unless—
(i) the information is relevant to the terms of reference for the Part 2 inquiry,
(ii) the information is necessary for the purposes of conducting the Part 2 inquiry,
(iii) if the information were given to the committee, the information could not reasonably be expected to prejudice the tax and duty collection, audit and enforcement systems, and
(iv) the giving of the information to the committee would be in the public interest.
(2) A meeting of persons who subsequently constitute the membership or part of the membership of a committee referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) shall not be regarded, for the purposes of this section, as a meeting of that committee.