Dáil Éireann - Volume 600 - 20 April, 2005

Written Answers. - Seanad Reform.

  323. Ms O’Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if the proposal to extend and centralise the electorate for the Seanad graduate panels will be implemented in time for the next election; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12297/05]

  Mr. Roche: The report on Seanad reform by the Seanad Sub-Committee on Seanad Reform, published in April 2004, sets out comprehensive recommendations for further consideration and action concerning the composition, functions and future role of Seanad Éireann. These include proposals to widen the electorate for the higher education constituency and ancillary matters such as nomination procedures, franchise and registration of electors, and methods of voting and counting.

At the request of the Taoiseach I have agreed to chair an informal all-party parliamentary group to establish the extent of cross-party agreement on the report’s recommendations and to advance, with consensus, proposals for the implementation of Seanad reform. I have written to party leaders and am awaiting nominations for [1850] the informal all-party group, which I intend to convene shortly in order to advance the recommendations in a timely and inclusive manner.