Inland Fisheries Act 2010

29.

Attendance of chief executive before Oireachtas Committee.

29.— (1) Subject to subsection (2), the chief executive shall, at the written request of an Oireachtas Committee, attend before it to give an account of the general administration of IFI.

(2) The chief executive is not required to give an account before an Oireachtas Committee of any matter relating to the general administration of IFI that is, or is likely to be, the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

(3) The chief executive shall, if of the opinion that subsection (2) applies to a matter about which that officer is requested to give an account before an Oireachtas Committee, inform the Committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion.

(4) The information required under subsection (3) to be given to the Oireachtas Committee must be given in writing unless it is given when the chief executive is before the Committee.

(5) If, on being informed of the chief executive’s opinion about the matter, the Oireachtas Committee decides not to withdraw its request, the High Court may, on application under subsection (6), determine whether subsection (2) applies to the matter.

(6) An application for a determination under subsection (5) may be made in a summary manner to the High Court by—

( a) the chief executive not later than 21 days after being informed by the Oireachtas Committee of its decision not to withdraw its request, or

( b) the chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee acting on its behalf.

(7) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (6), the chief executive shall not attend before the Oireachtas Committee to give an account of the matter to which the application relates.

(8) If the High Court determines that subsection (2) applies to the matter, the Oireachtas Committee shall withdraw its request relating to the matter, but if the High Court determines that subsection (2) does not apply, the chief executive shall attend before the Committee to give an account of the matter.

(9) In carrying out duties 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 policy.

(10) With the permission of the chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee making the request under subsection (1), either—

( a) the chairperson of IFI, or

( b) an employee of IFI nominated by the chief executive,

may attend before the Committee in place of the chief executive to give an account of the general administration of IFI, and in that case a reference in subsections (2) to (9) to the chief executive is to be read as a reference to the person attending in his or her place.

(11) In this section “Oireachtas Committee” means—

( a) a committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas (other than the Committee of Public Accounts, the Committee on Members’ Interests of Dáil Éireann or the Committee on Members’ Interests of Seanad Éireann), or

( b) a subcommittee of a committee as defined in paragraph (a).