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IAF Bill 2022 moves through the Houses of the Oireachtas

On 19 October 2022, we updated clients on the commencement of the Central Bank (Individual Accountability Framework) Bill 2022's (the "Bill") journey through the Dáil. In this Insight, we continue with a brief overview of the remainder of the Dáil debate at Second Stage, as it happened. 

On 19 October 2022, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, resumed the discussion on the Bill by taking the Dáil through each part of the Bill in turn. We are including a link to that part of the debate here, as it serves as a good summary of the contents of the Bill.

This was followed by a general welcoming of the proposed legislation by opposition parties, accepting that the legislation is necessary and referencing various occasions in the past where such legislation would have been useful. The main point of criticism, related to the delay in getting the Bill to this point, which was acknowledged and accepted by Deputy Sean Fleming, Minister of State at the Department of Finance (the "Minister of State"). However, in light of that delay, the Minister of State emphasised that "it is important that we get the Bill moved to Committee Stage for detailed assessment on a section-by-section basis."

A number of specific queries were posed in respect of the provisions requiring High Court involvement in certain enforcement proceedings. The Minister of State explained that due to the fact that the legislation will significantly expand the number of persons subject to enforcement actions by the Central Bank, and the potential sanctions, "the Attorney General’s office was clear that it was important to ensure that the provisions should include adequate checks and safeguards so that sanctions would be proportionate". We expect further in depth discussion on this point during the Committee Stage. 

Next Steps

At the conclusion of the discussion, the Bill was referred to the Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach (the "Select Committee").  During this stage, the provisions of the Bill will be considered in more detail, and the Minister will engage with Deputies on any proposed amendments. The Minister of State confirmed that in the meantime, officials in the Department of Finance, along with the Minister of Finance, will reflect on the points raised in the debate and will give further consideration, in consultation with the Central Bank and the Office of the Attorney General, to any amendments that may be necessary to ensure that the objectives of the Bill are achieved as fully as possible.

We will update clients once the Bill is considered by the Select Committee. 

Further general information can be found in the recent SEAR podcast and our Individual Accountability and SEAR website.