Dáil Éireann - Volume 592 - 09 November, 2004
Written Answers. - Referendum Commission.
Mr. F. McGrath Mr. F. McGrath
215. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will bring the referendum commission into being early and give it ample funds to inform citizens objectively on the proposed EU constitution and not leave it until just a month before the referendum as on previous occasions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27822/04]
Mr. D. Ahern Mr. D. Ahern
Mr. D. Ahern: Statutory responsibility for the establishment of the referendum commission lies with the Minister for the Environment and Local Government. Under the Referendum Act 1998, as amended in 2001, an order by him establishing the referendum commission for any given referendum can only be made following the initiation in the Dáil of the Bill to amend the Constitution.
The Government has already made clear that it is committed to ensuring that the referendum commission will have sufficient time and resources to fulfil its role in respect of the referendum on the European constitution, as indeed it had for the second referendum on the Nice treaty.
On that occasion, the Referendum Commission was established on 9 July 2002, more than three months before the polling day of 19 October. In its subsequent report the commission was “glad to report that the additional time made available  to it on this occasion enabled it to carry out a much more wide-ranging and comprehensive information campaign than in the past.”
Dáil Éireann 592 Written Answers. Referendum Commission.