Committees to have eight-week deadline for scrutinising bills

Government says new timeframe strikes the ‘right balance’, but opposition TDs voice ‘major concerns’ about change

Jack Chambers, the government chief whip: ‘The current system of some bills being stuck endlessly in committees for months is not conducive to the effective delivery of legislation and policy objectives.’ Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Oireachtas committees have been given a new eight-week deadline to carry out pre-legislative scrutiny of bills, amid concerns over delays to key legislation.

Under Dáil procedures, the draft versions of new government bills must be examined by a relevant Oireachtas committee and its members must then produce a report before the bill can proceed.

However, some committees are taking up to a year to complete this process. This is longer than it takes for some ...