OECD Report on Dáil Reform.

Published by Elaine Byrne 13 November 2015

The OECD published a preliminary draft of its Review of Budget Oversight by Parliament: Ireland this week.

The report can be accessed here

Key points:

  • Budget oversight by the Irish parliamentary chambers is under-developed by international standards.
  • 17 recommendations which include –
  1. Ex ante parliamentary input to medium-term fiscal planning;
  2. Ex ante parliamentary input on budget priorities;
  3. Early publication of full budgetary information and legislative proposals;
  4. Timely consideration of the Estimates of Expenditure;
  5. Performance Dialogue with joint committees in early year;
  6. Re-introduce “Pre-Budget Estimates” showing “no policy change” expenditure baselines;
  7. Establish an Irish Parliamentary Budget Office to support parliamentary engagement and budget scrutiny;
  8. Continuing Professional Development of parliamentarians and officials;
  9. “Performance hearings” with joint committees in early part of the year (February-March);
  10. Power for joint committees to recommend changes to performance information;
  11. Systematic review of existing performance metrics;
  12. Estimates Performance Reports;
  13. Promotion of IrelandStat as an authoritative portal for public performance;
  14. Linkages to higher level strategies and articulation of a “National Performance Framework”;
  15. Establishment of a “National Performance Quality Panel”;
  16. Role for Irish Parliamentary Budget Office in supporting performance scrutiny;
  17. Selective Audit of Performance Information by the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General in reports to the Public Accounts Committee and other committees.

Irish Citizens Decide: A Review of the Irish Convention on the Constitution

A free event to be held at UCD Newman House, November 13, 2015, 9.30am-1.00pm

To register, see here

Ireland’s Convention on the Constitution, which met from late 2012 to early 2014, was a world first both in allowing ordinary citizens a place in discussions about the future of our Constitution and also due to its role in the calling of the marriage referendum earlier this year.

This half-day seminar – which has been supported by the Department of the Taoiseach – will review the work, operation and outcomes of the Convention. The panelists will include former members and organisers of the Convention, the academic team who supported and monitored its operation, and journalists who provided critical coverage of it.


9.30 arrive and registration

9.45: Welcome and introduction: Prof Ken Carty (research director of the British Columbia citizens’ assembly) will make some opening remarks

10.00: Panel discussion on the Convention and its outcomes. Confirmed participants include: Tom Arnold (Chair of the Convention), Art O’Leary (Secretary), Dr Jane Suiter (DCU), Dearbhail McDonald (Legal Editor, Irish Independent), and Senator Katherine Zappone, Deirdre Donaghy and Aideen Larkin (three members of the Convention).

11.30: tea/coffee break

12.00: What can we learn from the Irish Constitutional Convention? A presentation of research findings by the academic team who supported the work of the Convention.

13.00: End of workshop. A free lunch will be provided.

Reflections on the new architecture of European economic governance – 27 November

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Posted on behalf of Dr Emmanuelle Schon-Quinlivan

Since 2009, many articles and books have been written on the causes to the Eurozone crisis, the potential solutions as well as their consequences for European economic integration. Most of the literature has taken a liberal intergovernmentalist approach or even ‘new intergovermentalist’ stance which focuses on the prevalence of the Member States’ role in the handling of the crisis and the consequential relegation of the European Commission as an unwilling agent in manoeuvring to gain more powers. In a multi-level economic governance context which has seen the reshuffling of the power cards between the various stakeholders, this workshop has selected contributions addressing issues of power, supranational entrepreneurship and integration.

The workshop will take place at the NUI offices on Merrion Square on November 27. Everyone is welcome at the workshop, please email Dr Emmanuelle Schon-Quinlivan at e.schon@ucc.ie to confirm attendance for catering purposes. Further information is available at http://www.ucc.ie/en/government/news/fullstory-609936-en.html Continue reading

Irish Polling Indicator: Independents/Others are popular, but fragmented


About five months out from the expected date of the general elections, Fine Gael continues to lead in the opinion polls with around 26% support. While the party is down about 10% compared to the last general elections, its competitors are fragmented and therefore Enda Kenny’s party manages to continue its lead. This is estimated by the Irish Polling Indicator, which aggregates the results of the four major Irish polling companies. Continue reading

Irish Polling Indicator: Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil gaining


The largest government party, Fine Gael, and the largest opposition party, Fianna Fáil, have both seen their electoral prospects improve over the last months, according to the Irish Polling Indicator. Fine Gael has recovered from a 22% low early December 2014 and now polls around 27%. Micheál Martin’s party also found the way up, increasing about 2% since late March. At 21% the party is finally improving on the consistently poor level of polling it had seen in the last year. Continue reading

Conference on Women in Leadership: North and South

This year’s annual conference of the UCD Institute for British-Irish Studies will be on the theme of women in leadership. It will take place on July 6 at the European Parliament’s office in Molesworth Street, Dublin. To register to attend (free registration) see here: http://www.ucd.ie/ibis/newsevents/latestnewsevents/ibisannualconference2015/


9:45am Registration

9:50am Welcome by Prof David Farrell (IBIS, UCD)

10:00am Frances Fitzgerald, TD, Minister for Justice and Equality

10:30am Tea/Coffee Break

10:45am Women’s Leadership in Political and Public Life
Chair: Dr Melanie Hoewer (IBIS, UCD)
Prof Yvonne Galligan (Queens University Belfast)
Senator Ivana Bacik (Trinity College Dublin)
Fiona Buckley (University College Cork)
Professor Joan Ballantine (University of Ulster)

12:05pm Civic Leaders and the Leadership Pipeline
Chair: Prof Elizabeth Meehan (QUB/UCD)
Niamh Gallagher (Women for Election)
Kate McCullough (N.I. Women’s European Platform)
Louise Glennon (National Women’s Council of Ireland)
Grainne McVeigh (Women’s Inspiration Network)

1:30pm Lunch

2:30pm Political Leadership
Chair: Bronagh Hinds (DemocraShe/IBIS)
Paula Bradley, MLA (Democratic Unionist Party)
Caitriona Ruane, MLA (Sinn Féin)
Senator Averil Power
Senator Kathyrn Reilly (Sinn Féin)
Other speaker(s) TBC

4.15pm Conference Close

Upcoming Event: The Marriage Referendum; Predicting the General Election


Everyone is welcome at this post referendum seminar organised by the Voters, Parties and Elections Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association of Ireland.The seminar will include presentations using data from the 2015 Referendum Study. Please email Jane or Theresa on voterspartieselections@gmail.com to confirm your attendance for catering purposes. Further information on the referendum study is available at https://referendumstudy.wordpress.com/about/ and the date, location and programme for the seminar is available below.

Conference Room, European Parliament Office, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

1 July 2015 at 5.30pm

Continue reading