Broadcasting Act 2009

20.

Accountability of chief executive and chairpersons of Authority and statutory committees to other Oireachtas Committees.

20.— (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 the Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann or the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Éireann) or a subcommittee of such a Committee.

(2) Subject to subsection (4), 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 and a statutory committee.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the chairperson of the Authority or a statutory committee shall at the request in writing of a Committee, attend before it to represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee.

(4) The chief executive or chairperson shall not be required to give account before, or represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee to, 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.

(5) Where the chief executive or chairperson is of the opinion that a matter in respect of which the chief executive or chairperson is requested to give an account before, or represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee to, a Committee is a matter to which subsection (4) applies, he or she shall inform the Committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion and, unless the information is conveyed to the Committee at a time when the chief executive or chairperson is before it, the information shall be so conveyed in writing.

(6) Where the chief executive or chairperson has informed a Committee of his or her opinion in accordance with subsection (5) and the Committee does not withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (3) in so far as it relates to a matter the subject of that opinion—

( a) the chief executive or chairperson 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 (4) applies, or

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

and the High Court may determine the matter.

(7) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (6), the chief executive or chairperson shall not attend before the Committee to give account for or represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee in respect of the matter the subject of the application.

(8) If the High Court determines that the matter concerned is one to which subsection (4) applies, the Committee shall withdraw the request referred to in subsection (2) or subsection (3), but if the High Court determines that subsection (4) does not apply, the chief executive or chairperson shall attend before the Committee to give account for or represent the views of the Authority or a statutory committee in respect of the matter.