Dáil Éireann - Volume 486 - 28 January, 1998
Written Answers. - Department of Equality and Law Reform.
Mr. Spring Mr. Spring
479. Mr. Spring asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Department of Equality and Law Reform continues to exist in law despite the transfer of its functions to the former Department of Justice; the individual who has custody of the Seal of the Department of Equality and Law Reform; the Minister and the Secretary General who are head of it; the plans, if any, there are for resolving the  legal status of the Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1777/98]
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy) Charlie McCreevy
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): Subsections 6 (1) (c) and 6 (1) (d) of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 1939 permit the Government to transfer functions from one Minister or Department to another, while subsections 6 (1) (a) and 6 (1) (b) authorise the Government to change the name and title of the Ministers and Departments by similar procedure. Such orders do not deal with non-statutory functions which are transferred by administrative action.
The transfer of the functions of the Department of Equality and Law Reform to the Department of Justice was effected by S.I. No. 297 of 1997, dated 8 July 1997, and the renaming of the Department of Justice was effected by S.I. No. 298 of 1997, on 9 July 1997, reducing the number of functioning Departments to 15, two below the 17 permitted under the Ministers and Secretaries Acts. The questions of assigning a ministerial seal or appointment of a Secretary General to the Department of Equality and Law Reform did not arise.
It is intended that the shell of the Department of Equality and Law Reform, along with that of the former Department of Communications, will be extinguished when the Ministers and Secretaries Acts are next amended.
Dáil Éireann 486 Written Answers. Department of Equality and Law Reform.