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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Oireachtas: Salient Rulings of the Chair

Copy of a thread I started on Politics.ie Salient Rulings of the Chair

I came across a reference to a 'Salient Rulings of the Chair' No 246, which I hadn't really heard of, or taken notice of before and didn't know what 'Ruling 246' was, I asked the TD who used the reference and didn't get a quick reply so I had to ask a journalist to look it up for me, it turns out No 246 is "Remarks should be addressed through the Chair", straightforward but then Im not allowed to know that apparently.

The latest version of this handbook was printed in 2002 there was reference to it in the Oireachtas Online Library of documents which said it was downloadable, but the link to it was just a default link and all reference to it was removed when I asked about it, with the Oireachtas Service person saying it was an internal document and could not be published publically. Is this correct should the public not be able to understand what members of the Dail are reffering to when they cite these rulings? eg salient rulings of the chair" section:Dail debates via Kildarestreet.com.

I now understand that they are a collection of precedents from rulings made by the Chairs of the Dail and the Seanad. As opposed to the Standing Orders document.

Procedures in both Houses of the Oireachtas were to be governed by two main sources . This has remained the case since and are a) Standing Orders, which provide the procedural rulebook for members to follow, and b)Salient Rulings of the Chair, which is a handbook of precedents on which the Ceann Comhairle in the Dáil and the Cathaoirleach in the Seanad can refer to when making their rulings.
Muiris MacCarthaigh Constitutional Convention Briefing Note 1 Feb 2014

The most infamous Salient rulings is No. 428, the one about 'unparliamentary language' swearing, insults and the lists of such words, the most recent report on such was in relation to Paul Gogarty although the Word [he used] is not on Dail banned list Indepenent 12/12/2009. CPP Report on Parliamentary Standards 2009.

Rules I've found,

Read out at the start of every Committee meeting: I remind members that under the salient rules of the Chair, they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the House or an official by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. Kildarestreet.com
246. Remarks should be addressed through the Chair. Via Gavreilly
302. It is not for the Chair or the House to decide whether a Bill, a section of a Bill or an amendment is or is not in conflict with the Constitution
Dail record 2007
428. Members should show restraint in the House in their use of language Dail record 2007
431. 'political charges are in order but personal charges will not' CPP Report 2010
516. In relation to motions approving a draft Order, the Chair rules amendments inadmissible where there is no provision in the governing Act for such amendment. Dail Record 2005

Im collecting a list and other information here.

Anybody know any other of the Salient Rules and No's

Im not sure if Salient Rulings can also come from the Committee on Procedure and Privileges CPP Committee on Procedure and Privileges (Dáil), Houses of the Oireachtas that the chairs of the two houses
also chair.

There is archive of CPP Reports from 1924-1980, newer reports are more scattered around the Oireachtas website.

There might be elements from private CPP reports that can't be released but perhaps an index of the rules can be released?

Friday, 28 November 2014

Technical Group Resources

Did this post to research the issue, not everything is right and parts need to be expanded.

Topics


The Technical Group is a group of Independent and small parties TDs (members of parliament) of the Dail (Lower house of the Irish Parliament) who coalesce to get speaking opportunities and positions on committees.

wikipedia user Jnestorius, has wrtten a detailed history of the Technical Group.

There is a disagreement about TDs, who resigned from the partys they were members of at the 2011 general election, joining the Dail Technical Group because they won't pay towards the administration of the group. The Ceann Comhairle (chair) allowed Lucinda Creighton TD and Peter Matthews TD both elected to Dail as Fine Gael TDs to join the technical group without the agreement of the founding members of the techinical group. The technical group say they were told it was not possible for people elected as party TDs to join the Technical Group, as they were not true Independents. The technical groups members pay to fund an administrator for the group, to among other things, divide the groups Dail speaking time between them, decide who will take them private members time or be on committees, the new members refuse to pay for that administration and instead looked for the Ceann Comhairle to admit them to the Techinical Group and assign them speaking time, which may disrupt the speaking allocations agreed by the original Technical Group. (although they've now been given more time as a concession according to Finian McGrath).

Calm resumes in Dáil after technical group row over Lucinda Creighton and Peter Mathews Stephen Collins Irish Times October 24th 2014.
Members pay €280 a month each to fund the group’s activities

Finian McGrath Expenses.


Technical Group administration €230 invoice 2012
It seems TDs can't use their Public Representation Allowance for paying staff, (except statutory deductions, for the purchase of secretarial support).

Technical Group Membership
In regard to the issue of who is allowed into the the Technical group, this another case of the authorities refusing to to release information and reasoning but also of those campaigners refusing to release information and reasoning they have or got from the authorities, possibly because of a legal challenge that may never happen, because tey are still trying to negotiate some concessions, I think it would be better for them to publish what they have to get public support for their campaign, they made the claims in public and disrupted the Dail, they should back them up their claims.

December 2014 Received copies of letters from 2012 from CM/AMMcN. Catherine Murphy as whip of the technical group wrote to the Ceann Comhairle in October 2012 after Mick Wallace left the Technical Group and asked if they could refuse to admit somebody to the TG and Sean Barrett (chair) replied that his "sole function" under Standing Order 120 is make sure the technical group number is the majority of Independents in the Dail and membership doesn't go below 7.

Which is why the technical group are relying on legal advice that only the members of the technical group can as a group write to the Chair to inform him that they have a new member.

The technical group have gotten legal advice that the Chair unilaterally assigning these TDs to the technical group breaches their right to decide who they associate with under the Article 40 constitution of Ireland Article 40 (iii) "The right of the citizens to form associations and unions".

So CC says he has no role and then allows three TDs Wallace, Matthews and Creighton into the group but who didn't do so via the technical group.


Technical Group Resources
The technical group and their staff have put a lot of work into making their case including parliamentary questions*, research commissioned, the report and figures compiled *, amendments put to atleast 3 bills (listed below). I can't do better then that, but its hard for the public to support them, when all the articles about the story (also listed below) over the last 3 years have been vague and with no direct quoting of statements from the Ceann Comhairle or Dail offices or the Dail Committee on Procedure and Privileges (CPP). The Technical Group membes have a voicemail recording which they say reveals the contradictory advice they got from the Dail Clerk's offices but won't release even a transcript of it. "we have a recording of it", Dail 17th September 2014. A Houses of the Oireachtas Service statement (24th October) said that the Technical Group had never brought up the issues to the CPP.
On a separate note, it has been repeatedly made clear that the appropriate forum to raise matters regarding the rules of the Dail is the procedures committee of the House (CPP) of which Deputy Murphy is a member. To date Deputy Murphy has not sought to raise the issue with the very committee which oversees the rules (Standing Orders) of the Dáil.

What issue should she bring to the CPP? Membership of the Technical Group? There had been correspondence with the Clerk's Office, they were told something was the case, (that former party members weren't allowed join the Technical Group), Why didn't they bring it up at the CPP when others wanted to join, if they did want to join. Seamus Healy said on TippFM that Patrick Nulty wanted to join but was refused by the Chair, I asked him nnumeorus times over the past month when was it the Patrick Nulty tried to join the Technical Group and was refused but haven't got an answer from him. As detail below the Chair said that former party members could join the Technical Group once they sever ties with their former party entirely.

Dáil suspended following row TippFM 22 Oct, 2014
Tipperary TDs at loggerheads TippFM 23 Oct, 2014
Prominent member of the Technical Group and Tipperary TD Seamus Healy has expressed no confidence in the Ceann Comhairle TippFM 23 Oct 2014.

AMMcN assistant to Catherine Murphy tells me that Patrick Nulty never officially tried to join the Technical Group so he was never officially refused. The Chair of the Dail keeps saying he has no role in these issues but he also chairs the Committee of Procedure and Privileges and the House Commission that he keeps pointing the Deputies to and then they go into those committees and get nowhere because of the government majority.

What about the issue of resources where is the correct place to bring that up? The House Commission? Does the CPP have influence over what the House Commission does, is the CPP the decider and the House Commission the administrator? Can you get extra staff without going through the CPP? There is example from 2004 of the Technical Group getting extra staff in 2004 below but Im not sure if it went through the CPP at all. Only members of the CPP can access the CPP minutes, ">not even other TDs can. The description of the CPP Joint sub-Committee on Administration suggests you have to go through the CPP to get the House Commission to do anything. Catherine Murphy is on that committee Joint sub-Committee on Administration Membership. But nothing happens unless the government allows it to.

Catherine Murphy TD had requested an additional secretarial assistant from the House Commission at a May 2014 meeting. Catherine Murphy TD, after to the Dail protest, brought 'the issue' up at a CPP meeting this month (November 2014) but hasn't released a statement on it, apart from comments from her staff to the Irish Mirror where they said they had got nowhere with it.

The problem is that partys TDs are provided with staff by the Oireachtas, the money given to the partys for staff for the TDs who have left those parties is being kept by the partys. The rules do state money is assigned by the national first preference vote of a party at the election, this seems unfair, as people vote for individual candidates not partys. Funding available to qualified parties, SIPO. It is often noted there is no reference to political partys in the Constitution in relation to election to the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) but there is the relevant 1997 Elctoral Act in regard to expenses.

Presumably all members of the technical group would agree with the need to redress the balance of funding for TDs.

The Technical Group
Technical Group description by its whip Catherine Murphy TD.
Fact Sheet: Parliamentary Process Technical Group Catherine Murphy 29 August 2013
MemberParty
Catherine MurphyIndependent
Stephen DonnellyIndependent
Tom FlemingIndependent
John HalliganIndependent
Seamus HealyIndependent
Finian McGrathIndependent
Maureen OSullivanIndependent
Thomas PringleIndependent
Shane RossIndependent
Mick WallaceInd/Inds For Equality Movement
Richard BoydBarrettPBPA
Joan CollinsIndependent/United Left
Clare DalyIndependent/United Left
Seamus HealyWorkers and Unemployed Action Group
Joe HigginsSP
Ruth CoppingerSP
Mattie McGrathIndependent
Michael Healy-RaeIndependent
Peter MatthewsIndependent
Lucinda CreightonIndependent
Paul MurphyAnti-Austerity Alliance

Paul Murphy joined the technical group in October 2012, he agreed to pay for administration and the technical group wrote to the Ceann Comhairle to nominate him to join.



There is no official list of the Technical Group members. Technical Group Membership Timeline

The Register of Political parties as at 16 September 2014‌.

2014
Technical group opposed to Creighton’s alliance joining Aine McMahon Sep 17, 2014.

If Deputy Catherine Murphy wishes to come to my office, I will deal with it. However, as far as I am concerned, what appeared in the newspapers today was totally and utterly incorrect. First, I had no hand, act or part in two new Members applying for membership of the Technical Group; that is not my role. The Standing Order sets out how a technical group can or cannot be formed. Any change is a matter for the Committee on Procedure and Privileges; it is then a matter for the Dáil to decide on.
17 September 2014 Order of Business.

Some members of the Technical Group argued for the chair of the Dail to explain why he is "interfering" in the chairing the Technical Group, Leaders' Questions 22 October 2014

Deputy Catherine Murphy: I received a letter from you this morning, a Cheann Comhairle, about Standing Orders and their application to the Technical Group. You told us that Members are selected to speak on the basis of an administrative convenience, and that if certain people are not included on our list of speakers, you are likely to call them. How do you think it will work in terms of administrative convenience because if any one of us goes to you and says he or she did not get five minutes or ten minutes speaking time, will you administer the entire Technical Group?

She argued with Ceann Comhairle at length, the Dail was suspended 3 times and then Deptuy Catherine Murphy was suspended from the Dail and left. Then John Halligan TD spoke.

Dáil Éireann Debate Page 22 Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Deputy John Halligan: The Ceann Comhairle is attempting to undermine the speaking time and rights of the Technical Group. He is attempting to appoint himself as chairperson of the Technical Group. We will not allow him to do that. I appeal to the Taoiseach to intervene in this and allow a meeting-----

He was then suspended from the Dail and left. Then Thomas Pringle TD spoke.

Dáil Éireann Debate Page 25 Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Deputy Thomas Pringle: A Cheann Comhairle, we have tried over the last three and a half years in the interests of democracy to resolve these issues in regard to the organisation of the Technical Group.

An Ceann Comhairle: Sorry, I cannot resolve anything.

Deputy Thomas Pringle: This has been refused by yourself on numerous occasions. It has been refused by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and-----

An Ceann Comhairle: The Committee on Procedure and Privileges is the forum in which to try to resolve these difficulties. They cannot be resolved on the floor of the House.

Deputy Thomas Pringle: -----the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. We have been brought to this point because you have refused-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Pringle, I would ask you please to respect the Chair and-----

Deputy Thomas Pringle: -----at all points to actually engage with the Technical Group in relation to resolving these issues. You have not treated the Technical Group in a fair manner when dealing with these issues.

He was then suspended from the Dail and left. Then Finian McGrath TD spoke.

Dáil Éireann Debate Page 28 Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Deputy Finian McGrath: A Cheann Comhairle-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Sorry, Deputy, would you resume your seat?

Deputy Finian McGrath: -----in regard to the Independent Deputies, you are missing two crucial points about the debate.

An Ceann Comhairle: Would you resume your seat please, Deputy?

Deputy Finian McGrath: It is not about depriving people of speaking time.

An Ceann Comhairle: In view of the ongoing behaviour-----

Deputy Finian McGrath: t is about pro rata resources and time---

An Ceann Comhairle: -----of members of the Technical Group, I am afraid I have to suspend the sitting of the Dáil until 9.30 tomorrow morning.

The Dáil adjourned at 2.40 p.m. until 9.30 a.m. on Thursday, 23 October 2014.

The house was suspended for the rest of the day.

Dáil Éireann Debate Page 29 Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The Ceann Comhairle main responses was,

An Ceann Comhairle: I had the pleasure of speaking with Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan. She came to my office and I explained everything to her in detail. In addition, I asked the Clerk of the Dáil to issue a letter to your Whip, which he did, outlining the Standing Orders and explaining everything. There is no discretion for me in respect of this matter. Any Member who is not a member of a party or a group is entitled to apply to be a member of a technical group. I do not have any discretion in that regard. The only thing-----

An Ceann Comhairle: Do not shout me down. The only thing they have to do is formally notify me. The two Deputies in question have formally notified me. That is it. I cannot do any more than that. It is now a matter to be resolved by others. I ask that in the interests of parliamentary democracy Members now allow the business of the Dáil to proceed.

Dáil Éireann Debate Page 28 Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Technical Group TDs including Richard Boyd-Barrett interjected repeatedly that they got different advice from the Clerk of the Dail in previous years.

Maureen O'Sullivan discussed the issue on the TV3's Tonight with Vincent Browne (Full Show) hosted that night by Ger Collins, a clip via Maureen O'Sullivan.



from this I understand they wanted the Ceann Comhairle to delay his decision and that why the protest that day, but the decision was already made.

Three Independent TD's Suspended from Daíl. Poltics.ie discussion 22nd Ocotber 2014.

Ceann Comhairle responds to Technical Group's legal advice RTE 24 October 2014.
Mr Barrett issued letters on Wednesday morning, saying he would, at his discretion, call on members of the Reform Alliance to speak in time allocated to the Technical Group.
Statement from Houses of the Oireachtas Service regarding legal advice received by Technical Group 24 October 14
The advice received by certain members of the Technical Group now confirms what the Houses of the Oireachtas Service has been telling them all along - namely that a member who has severed all links with his/her party is eligible to join the group.

When did Creighton and Matthews leave parliamentary party and when did they leave the party itself?. Why did they not join the technical group in 2013? (because they were still exploring becoming their own party?), despite it being reported by the Independent, they never registered as a party or as a 'third party' group.

Former Party Independents Timeline

Need to distinguish between leaving parliamentary party and leaving the party entirely.



The Houses of the Oireachtas Service statement continued,
On a separate note, it has been repeatedly made clear that the appropriate forum to raise matters regarding the rules of the Dail is the procedures committee of the House (CPP) of which Deputy Murphy is a member. To date Deputy Murphy has not sought to raise the issue with the very committee which oversees the rules (Standing Orders) of the Dáil.

Catherine Murphy as Technical Group whip is a member of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges, appointed 9 June 2011.

I find hard to believe that Catherine Murphy (on behalf of the technical group) hasn't brought these issues up before. They asked parliamentary questions, compiled a
report on Technical Group resources and put amendments to a number of bills on the issue, which I'll summarize below.

TD Catherine Murphy threatens to quit as whip of Technical Group as Gerry Adams slams Ceann Comhairle Sarah Bardon Irish Mirror Nov 17, 2014.
A source close to Ms Murphy said: “The CPP meeting on Wednesday evening did not go well. They basically dug their heels in and are not accepting any challenge to what they have decided.

“It was a general ‘we are lucky to have what we have and should have put up and shut up’.

Finnian McGrath commented on twitter on Dail disruption and "need to get on with real issues". I pointed out that he disrupted Dail on the 22nd October.


I replied would like to read details of his concession.


I thought the argument was about the Ceann Comhairle allocating speaking time to new members (rather the technical group doing so). Need to find out how they allocate time. There is a rota of who speaks and in which order The sequence in which Questions nominated for priority are placed on the Order Paper each day shall be as follows 30 March 2011 which specifies the time for speaking on private members bills but not government bills. Standing Order 27 (b) specifies that Leaders Questions should be 21 minutes. SO 36 (ii) Taoiseach Questions in 45 minutes.


The CPP and Administration

Committee on Procedure and Privileges Joint sub-Committee on Administration
The sub-Committee’s role is to represent the views of Members to the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission in relation to services provided to support Members in undertaking their parliamentary and representative duties. The sub-Committee considers and make recommendations to the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and its Management Committee on matters within its remit.

Does that Include extra staff?

Can't find this contradictory legal advice Catherine Murphy says she got, although they say they "have a recording of it".


Precedence
In 2002 there were more members of the Technical Group then Labour, so Labour and government did a deal so that Labour would regain the right to speak before a technical group even if they were larger.
Amendments to Standing Orders: Motion. Thursday, 24 October 2002

(c) In this Standing Order, “Leader in Opposition” means the leader of a group as defined in Standing Order 120(1): Provided that the Leader of a party which is a group under Standing Order 120(1)(a) shall have precedence over the designated Leader of a group recognised under paragraph (1)(b) of that Standing Order.

and a similar provisions in numerous places in the Standing Orders to give aparty precedence over a group.

Labour Welcomes Standing Orders Change To Restore Role Of Political Parties Emmet Stagg Labour Party 2002.


Bills/Amendments

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Bill 2012
Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Bill 2012

The bill took from 14/07/2012 to 20/02/2013 to pass through houses.

This bill was about translation of legislation into Irish, although opposition members spoke about funding issues, I presume amendments not related to the purpose of the bill would not be allowed or voted down by the government majority.

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage
Catherine Murphy: The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission provides salaries for support staff for each Deputy. However, what is not appreciated is that the political parties also receive additional resources which constitute a secretariat to run the business of the Oireachtas. An additional allocation of 0.8 per Member in secretarial grade staffing is provided to parliamentary parties. That does not mean, however, that a group like the Technical Group is accommodated in that regard. I do not dispute that there is a need for such group staffing, but I do question the extent of the allocations. I also question how the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, in its standing orders, allows for the formation of a Technical Group, but excludes such a group from receiving a staffing allocation.

For example, our group has 16 Members, yet we get no resources whatsoever to co-ordinate our activities. If one looks at the numbers, Fianna Fáil gets 23 people, while Fine Gael gets 26, which is discounted because it is in Government. There are 78 staff members.

However, the Technical Group must combine and jointly fund one person. We do not get a desk, a telephone, an office or a computer. We must employ an accountant and set ourselves up as an employer. This is an affront to how a democracy should run. Given that the Technical Group comprises one third of the Opposition, the Government could be accused of trying to reduce its impact by designing the scheme in such a fashion.

Political Funding in Ireland: An Analysis extensive report compiled October 2012, summarized below.

Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013
Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013

The bill started on 17/10/2013 and finished 12/04/2014.

Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013 [Seanad] as initiated .pdf

Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013 [Seanad] Explanatory Memorandum .pdf

This bill was about allowing auditing of some members expenses renaming the Leaders allowance to the Parliamentary Activities Allowance and reducing it by 10%.

Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013 [Seanad]: Second Stage 23 January 2014

Catherine Murphy: An area that is rarely mentioned in terms of the funding or resourcing of political parties is that of staffing. That comes under the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission. I have talked to the Minister about this on a number of occasions. Some of the staffing is allocated on that basis of parties that would have common policy platforms. I do not have an issue with that and that is work that needs to be done. Some of the work involves the co-ordination that must take place for this House to function in an effective way. The Technical Group is a recognised group in the context of Standing Orders, yet its ability to function as a technical group is not provided for by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission. For example, I act as the Whip for the Technical Group and I deal with the Bills Office, the questions office, the committee secretariat, the Journal Office and the Superintendent. Various Ministers ring from time to time and to avoid having to ring 15 or 16 people, my office is where the telephone call is made. We collectively hired two people to do that. It cannot be done with any fewer and it is really right at that. Such work is about the normal functioning of this House, yet no provision is made for it because it requires a change to primary legislation in order that the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission can then provide for it. I will be putting forward an amendment in that respect to this Bill and I hope the Minister will accept it. Matters such as continuity planning require us to engage and it is not fair to ask any one of us to do that internal work without someone to assist with it.

It requires us to have an accountant to work out taxation. The contracts are less advantageous to the people we are hiring than those doing exactly the same work as Members of the Oireachtas. There is a good argument that the resources available should be shared in a way that allows the Houses to function. I am not making the argument that it should be on a par with parties because it is not a policy platform and merely concerns the functioning of the House. We are a large group, amounting to one third of the Opposition. It is one of the basic things required.

Stephen Donnelly Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013 [Seanad]: Second Stage 23 January 2014.

Some former members of Fine Gael put amendment in the Seanad to allow the funding go with the TD
List of Proposed Committee Stage Amendments
4. In page 4, between lines 17 and 18, to insert the following:
“(2) Where a member of a qualifying party ceases to be a member of the parliamentary Party of that party, no allowance shall be payable in
respect of that member and the allowance payable under this section shall be reduced proportionately.”.
—Senators Paul Bradford, Fidelma Healy Eames.
And put the same amendment at report stage List of Proposed Report Stage Amendments 28/11/2013

11. In page 4, between lines 18 and 19, to insert the following:
“(2) In the case where a member of a party elected to Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann leaves or is expelled from that party

(a) the annual allowances, and all other Oireachtas supports, are to be recalculated immediately to reduce the annual allowances accordingly to be paid to the parliamentary leader of the party, and
(b) under paragraph (a) the member will be eligible for the annual allowances available to independent members of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann as outlined in subsection (3).”.
—Stephen S.Donnelly.
List of Proposed Committee Stage Amendments 27/02/2014

He asked for the resources to removed for the Party allocation and for the former members to be given the Independents allocation.

List of Proposed Committee Stage Amendments 31/03/2014
2. In page 4, between lines 18 and 19, to insert the following:
“(2) Where a member of a qualifying party ceases to be a member of the parliamentary party of that party, no allowance shall be payable in
respect of that member and the allowance payable under this section shall be reduced proportionately.”.
—Denis Naughten, Billy Timmins, Terence Flanagan, Peter Mathews, Lucinda Creighton.

Former party members ask for allowance given to party be removed when members leaves party.

4. In page 4, between lines 18 and 19, to insert the following:
“(2) Where a member of a party elected to Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann ceases to be a member of that party, the percentage amount of the
allowance paid in respect of him or her to his or her former party shall be paid to such former party member and such amount shall be
deducted from that party’s parliamentary activities allowance.”.
—Seán Fleming.

Sean Fleming suggest the party payment go straight to the former party member.

8. In page 4, to delete lines 31 to 35 and substitute the following:
“(5) (a) Subject to the approval of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and to such exceptions, restrictions and conditions as may be provided for by regulations, secretarial facilities may be provided to a qualifying party for the purposes of facilitating the parliamentary activities of its elected members.
(b) Subject to the approval of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and to such exceptions, restrictions and conditions as may be provided for by regulations, the secretarial facilities provided under paragraph (a) may also be proportionately distributed to include the provision of such services to a formally recognised group of the Oireachtas.”.
—Catherine Murphy.
9. In page 4, line 34, after “party” to insert “or formally recognised group of the Oireachtas”.
—Catherine Murphy.

Catherine Murphy ask for secretarial facilities to Oireachtas groups not just partys. Debate 2 April 2014. Where there contradicting information from the Minister on the House Commission previous decision that it could not rearrange secretarial services itself. House Commission letter Febraury 2012.

Dail debate on giving these resources to the TDs during the
Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013: Committee Stage 13 November 2013.
Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013: Committee Stage (Resumed) 19 November 2013

Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013 [Seanad]: Report Stage (Continued) 1 April 2014

Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013 [Seanad]: Report Stage (Continued) 2 April 2014

I think a valid case has been made regarding the practicalities of organising notices and co-ordination. I am of the view that the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission has the power under the existing legislation to provide such secretarial facilities to individual Members of this House as it determines appropriate.
I have formally written a long letter to Deputy Murphy quoting the legal instruments and making it clear that I believe this is doable and feasible. I hope the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission will accept that. It is possible for the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, through existing Standing Orders and regulations, to provide Deputy Murphy with secretarial assistance in acknowledgement of the additional role of co-ordinator that she performs within the Technical Group in the interests of the effective carrying out of the business of the House.

House commission Minutes 13th May, 2014 where Catherine Muprhy forward the letter to the Chairman.

7. CORRESPONDENCE
(1) Request for additional secretarial facilities under regulation 3(1)(b)(ii) of SI No. 2 of 2013
The Commission considered a letter from Deputy Catherine Murphy, enclosing a copy of a letter from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, requesting the Commission to consider the provision of additional secretarial support in respect of the duties of the Technical Group Whip under regulation 3(1)(b)(ii) of SI No. 2 of 2013 on the basis of exceptional circumstances.
The Commission noted that the guidelines adopted by it for assessing requests for additional resources in exceptional circumstances are concerned solely with the provision of additional resources to assist individual members with a disability.
The Commission was of the view that the application of the Scheme on the provision of secretarial facilities must be fair as between different members.
In view of the issues raised the Commission decided to seek clarification from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. On receipt of this clarification from the Minister it will give further consideration to the request for additional secretarial support.

S.I. No. 2/2013 - Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2013.
3. (1) Subject to Regulation 4, each member of Dáil Éireann, who is not the holder of Ministerial or Parliamentary Office, is entitled to—
(b) (ii) in cases which the Commission considers exceptional, with the consent of the Commission, one additional secretarial assistant working full-time.
They also requested use of graphic design facilities.

(2) The provision of graphic design services
The Commission considered a letter on behalf of the Joint sub-Committee on Administration regarding the provision of graphic design services for the Sinn Féin Party, Dáil Technical Group and Independent Members of the Dáil.
The Commission noted that a graphic design outsourcing budget of €90k is available to be drawn down by parties/members on a proportional basis and that this budget had not been availed of in recent years.
3
The Commission agreed to write to the Joint sub-Committee on Administration to advise it of the €90k annual budget that is available for outsourcing graphic design support.

Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013 [Seanad]: Report Stage (Continued) 2 April 2014

Brendan Howlin: Clearly they cannot avail of common research and policy formation services.

Is there difference between political co-ordination staff and secretarial staff? Surely staff are capable of working on various policies.

Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill 2011 [Seanad]
Bill entitled an Act to establish a register of corporate donors; to provide for reductions in donation and donation declaration limits; to provide for disclosure of accounts by political parties; to amend the law relating to state funding of political parties; for these and other purposes to amend the Electoral Act 1992, the Electoral Act 1997 and the Local Elections (Disclosure of Donations and Expenditure) Act 1999; and to provide for related matters.

Mostly to with election donations except the Explanatory Memorandum describes the last two elements.

An obligation on all registered political parties to prepare an annual statement of accounts and an auditor’s report which is to be submitted to the standards in Public Office Commission
State funding provided to a political party under Part 3 the Electoral Act 1997 shall not be paid in the event of non-compliance with this provision. The Bill also provides that political parties will face a cut of half their State funding received under the Electoral Act 1997 if they do not have at least 30% women and 30% men candidates at the next general election. Seven years from the general election where this provision first applies, this will rise to 40% commencing at the general election held next after that. There will therefore be a minimum of 7 years between the 30% and the 40% provision applying.

This bill took from 12/12/2011 to the 20/07/2012.

Report Amendments / Seanad Éireann / Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill 2011 [Seanad]

Some admendements by Catherine Murphy related to parliamentary groups. Finding it dificult to decipher the amending of the legislation but it seems to be requiring a parliamentary group if in receipt of state funding to have to keep receipts and submit to an audit along with parliamentary partys.

Not sure if all these amendments were relevant to that bill.

Catherine Murphy seeks to reform party funding and TD allowances, Government refuses to take amendments. catherinemurphy 11th July 2012


Dail Protest

Speech row in Dail to escalate Stephen O’Brien Sunday Times € 16 November 2014
Murphy said the group had been thwarted both at the Dail Committee of Procedures Privileges (CPP), and at the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission

The massive row that shut down the Dáil on Wednesday is only getting worse Thejournal.ie Hugh O'Connell Oct 24 2014.





Healy slams Ceann Comhairle in speaking rights row Breakingnews.ie 23/10/2014

"Over the last 18 months, the Ceann Comhairle has taken three different positions on this issue," he said
"He has told us Deputy Patrick Nulty was not entitled to be in the Technical Group; he gave the Reform Alliance people separate speaking time and now he has told us they are entitled to be members of the technical group."

I have not being able to find anything to suggest Patrick Nulty tried to join the technical group and was refused, did he try to join thee TG before he left the Labour Party entirely? Emailed Healy to ask him about that no reply.

Patrick Nulty resigned in protest at direction of Labour Party Newstalk 21 June 2013

Ceann Comhairle defends move on Dáil speaking rights RTE 22 October 2014.


Salient Rulings are Dail precedents set, not in the Standing Orders, but from Committee of Procedue and Privileges reports in regard to conduct in the Houses of the Oireachtas. Unfortunately they are not available online even though the Oireachtas OPAC says they are.

Collection of publically referenced Salient Rulings.

Committee on Procedure and Privileges Old Reports.


Gavan Reilly helped me find the text of that ruling and interpreted it as Catherine Murphy wanting to get the Ceann Comhairle opinions on the issue on public record.

Standing Orders Relative To Public Business There doesn't seem to be ongoing consolidated standing orders, only a list of amendment documents. Standing Orders Dáil Éireann.


Standing Order 120: Groups.
120. (1) Subject to paragraph (2), for the purpose of this Standing Order a
group shall mean—

(a) any Party which had not less than seven members elected to the Dáil at the previous General Election or which, if it had less than seven, attained the number of seven members as a result of a subsequent bye-election, or
(b) a majority of the members of the Dáil who are not members of a group as defined in paragraph (1)(a), being not less than seven in number, who request formal recognition as a group in writing to the Ceann Comhairle: Provided that such request shall be signed by all such members. The Ceann Comhairle shall grant formal recognition as a group to such members as soon as possible thereafter.

Technical Group Members Suspended from Dáil as Ceann Comhairle Refuses to Allow Them to speak Catherine Murphy 22nd October 2014
This morning, the Ceann Comhairle issued a letter to the Technical Group saying that he would ignore speaker lists provided by the Group for the purposes of the administrative functioning of the Dáil. This would, in effect, remove the Group’s control over who could speak to any business of the Dáil in the time allocated to the Group.
TDs Lucinda Creighton, Peter Mathews and Mattie McGrath have been told by the Clerk of the Dáil they are now members of the Technical Group.

The Technical Group has objected to this and the Dáil had to be suspended for most of the day after members repeatedly voiced their opposition to the move.

Ceann Comhairle granted non-aligned TDs speaking time in Dáil to uphold principle RTE 23 September 2013
Mr Barrett confirmed that he was not consulted prior to the publication of the Government's latest reform plans.

Do these reforms have to go through the CPP and the Dail?





2013
Rebellious Labour TDs form Dáil group Shaun Connolly, February 23, 2013

After a meeting with the ceann comhairle this week, four TDs who gave up Labour’s whip in anger at the direction the party has taken under Mr Gilmore expect more speaking time to oppose Government policy.

TD slams ‘blatant abuses of power’ after being suspended from the Dáil Hugh O'Connell TheJournal.ie May 29 2013.

Dáil Rules do not reflect the Cititzens’ Mandate 12th June 2013

Deputy Murphy also highlighted the fact that under current standing orders the Technical Group are not allowed to engage in discussion about how the business of the House is ordered and she asked the Ceann Comhairle to consider how the Standing Orders of the Dáil reflect the mandate of the citizens.


Left-wing TDs ditch plan for new Dail grouping over rights Independent.ie Fiach Kelly 10/09/2013

One source said those involved in attempting to form the left-wing group only recently realised they would not even be allowed join the Technical Group of Independent TDs.

Fine Gael rebel 'Reform Alliance' group given Dail speaking time Fiach Kelly 17/09/2013
An email to TDs from an Oireachtas official last night read: "I am instructed by the Ceann Comhairle to inform you that... on government business, some speaking slots for 'others' will be incorporated in the rotation of Dail speakers, after the initial spokespersons round.

‘Exiled’ party members granted speaking rights in Dáil Sep 17 2013
A note from Barrett’s office informed the deputies – including the five Dáil members of the RA and former Labour members Colm Keaveny and Róisín Shortall – that “some speaking slots for ‘others’ will be incorporated in the rotation” from tomorrow on.

Reform Alliance members want appointments to Oireachtas committees Sep 18 2013
The motion put down today – but which the TDs cannot actually move – asks for five committees to be expanded by one place each.

Motion 122 18 September 2013 page 37.

Enda Kenny Wednesday, 18 September 2013 Order of Business.
It any Deputy seeks full membership of a committee, the route to that, according to the clarification given by the Ceann Comhairle, is to apply for membership of the Technical Group.
Catherine Murphy:
“What the Taoiseach said was the polar opposite of the advice that we have been given on a number of occasions from the office of the clerk of the Dáil who would be giving that information to the Ceann Comhairle.”

Opposition fury as rebels win Dáil time Juno McEnroe Irish Examiner Sep 19 2013
But their question and speaking time will come from other groups on the opposition benches, including Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin. Opposition party leaders expressed surprise at the new speaking rights yesterday and claimed the Government had failed to consult them on the matter.

Can expelled TDs join the Dáil Technical Group? Here’s why it’s ‘as clear as mud’ Hugh O'Connell Sep 21 2013
However, the Technical Group has been told on a number of occasions in the past year that TDs who have left their parliamentary party cannot join their grouping under current Standing Orders.

Now TheJournal.ie understands that the government has been advised that if a TD wants to join the Technical Group and is prevented from doing so they would be able to successfully challenge the matter in the courts.

If any Deputy seeks full membership of a committee, the route to that, according to the clarification given by the Ceann Comhairle, is to apply for membership of the Technical Group.

TDs on the opposition benches, who are called ‘the others’ under the measure, will be granted specific speaking rights but only after Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, and the Technical Group in the Dáil.

Ceann Comhairle: ‘Parliament has to be independent of Government’ Hugh O'Connell Sep 23 2013
The Committee on Procedures and Privileges (CPP) now meets this Wednesday to consider whether the expelled TDs can join the Technical Group to gain further speaking time and committee membership.

What happened at that meeting?


2012

Dáil Technical Group Petition for the Provision of Parliamentary Support Staff & Facilities 2012 catherinemurphy.ie

Catherine Murphy PQs on Political Funding .pdf via Political Funding: the Facts. catherinemurphy.ie

Parliamentary Questions Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Members’ Allowances 21 February 2012

Catherine Murphy

Question : To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to reform the mechanism for party political funding provided for in the Electoral Acts and or the Oireachtas staff and resources provisions made available to parliamentary parties under the terms of section 9 of the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 36 of 2008) as distinct from his proposals to reform the system of funding known as the Party Leader’s Allowance which is administered subject to the provisions of section 1 of the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act, 2001; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9464/12]

Brendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)

It is understood that the Deputy is referring to funding for Members of the Oireachtas who are not representatives of the main political parties. This matter would be a subject for discussion between the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and my Department in the context of the preparation of a Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Bill which requires to be enacted before the end of the current year.

Houses of the Oireachtas Staffing Levels for Political Parties House of Oireachtas 20/02/2012

Mick Wallace Left Technical Group June 2011.

Wallace leaves Technical Group Jun 11 2012

Mick Wallace moves to rejoin Dail group Independent 11/10/2012

Mick Wallace rejoins Technical Group October 2011.

McGrath steps down as chair over new Wallace row Independent 16/10/2012

In a statement, Mr McGrath said he is “fed up” with Mr Wallace.

“I am also appalled at the procedures in Dail Eireann, where rules force a group of Independent TDs to have a member that the vast majority don’t want,” Mr McGrath said.

McGrath Resigns as Chairperson of the Technical Group finianmcgrath.ie 16 October, 2012

McGrath resigns as Dáil Group chair, attacks Mick Wallace Newstalk 19 October 2012

Whip of the group Catherine Murphy says while she is not happy either their hands are tied.

"If Genghis Khan arrived in here tomorrow on a by-election, we would have to admit him as part of the technical group


Murphy joins with Independent TDs to call for reform of system that sees political parties recieve €10.7million per year in political funding catherinemurphy.ie 13 January 2012

Catherine Murphy seeks to reform party funding and TD allowances, Government refuses to take amendments. 11th July 2012 Amendements to the Electoral (Amendment)(Political Funding) Bill 2011.


2011

The sequence in which Questions nominated for priority are placed on the Order Paper each day shall be as follows 30 March 2011

Independent TDs agree terms to gain Dáil speaking rights Thejournal.ie Susan Ryan March 8th 2011.

Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann: Motion 21 July 2011

Mattie McGrath suspended from Dáil over row with Ceann Comhairle Thejournal.ie Gavan Reilly Jul 20 2011 Dail transcript.

Motions. Whats this rule?
The Independent Members of the Technical Group have not been allowed to sign the motion because we are not members of a political party. However, I think Justice for the Forgotten knows it has our support.


Politician's Staffing Need to write more on this.

Each TD gets a parliamentary assistant and a constituency secretary (often two on job-share?), often relatives, that includes members of the technical group. Oireachtas 2012 – list of TDs and senators and their assistants September 24, 2012 by namawinelake.

S.I. No. 2/2013 - Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2013.

S.I. No. 280/2006 - Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Special Secretarial Allowance) Regulations 2006

Explaination of the Special Secretarial Allowance 6 October 2009.


Extra staff for Technical Group
I came across a very detailed history of the Technical Group by wikipedia user Jnestorius

One of the few statutory instruments referring to the Technical Group was S.I. No. 430/2004,[59] which modified S.I. No. 736/2003.[60] The 2003 instrument allocated secretarial staff for each parliamentary party, including those with fewer than seven members, but not for independent TDs. The 2004 instrument specified that some of the staff allocated to the Socialist Party, Sinn Féin, and Green Party would be shared by all members of the Technical Group; it also specified that the PDs' allocation would be shared with "Independent Members who are not members of the Technical Group", in effect those who supported the government.
Reference to SI 736/2003 in the 2004 Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Annual Report. Appendix 5 page 57.

S.I. No. 888/2004 - Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) (No. 5) Regulations 2004

S.I. No. 889/2004 - Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) (No. 6) Regulations 2004
The purpose of these Regulations is to make temporary provision for the employment of a graphic designer by each qualifying party and by the Technical Group constituted under the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann.
S.I. No. 736/2003 - Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary) Offices (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2003

S.I. No. 430/2004 - Oireachtas (Ministerial And Parliamentary Offices) (Secretarial Facilities) (No. 3) Regulations 2004

Relevant Minutes from the House Commission 2004.

House Commission Minutes 9th December, 2004

5 Graphic Designers deemed excessive so they shared them with the Techinical Group and the others.

House Commission Minutes 10th November, 2004

House Commission Minutes 19th October, 2004


Parliamentary Staffing 2012
The Technical Group put out very detailed comparison of resources giving to the Dail groups in 2012, Political Funding in Ireland: An Analysis 11th October 2012. (certain allowances have been reduced by 10% since).



Houses of the Oireachtas Staffing Levels for Political Parties 201/02/2012

Not sure if these numbers match for Dail and Seanad Staff.

Exchequer Funding 2012


I tried to update the figures to 2014 some allowances have been reduced and a number of party members have left their party.

There have been complaints that the money given by the exchequer to partys for TDs is being held onto by the party when the TD leaves the party, but the money is actually assigned by party national first preference vote, rather then number of TDs elected, this could be changed.

State Financing Guidelines
The allocation from the fund for each qualified party is determined by expressing the first preference votes received by the candidates of each qualified party at the last Dáil general election as a proportion of the total first preference votes received at the election by the candidates of all qualified parties.

Electoral Act, 1997 “Qualified party”.
PART III Payments to Political Parties and Reimbursement of Election Expenses of Candidates

16.—In this Part “qualified party” means a political party in respect of which each of the following conditions is fulfilled—

(a) the party is registered in the Register of Political Parties in accordance with section 25 of the Act of 1992 as a party organised (within the meaning of subsection (2)(a) of that section) in the State to contest a Dáil election; and

(b) the total first preference votes obtained by candidates whose candidatures were authenticated by the party at the last preceding general election expressed as a percentage of total first preference votes obtained by all candidates at that election was not less than two per cent.

Electoral Act, 1997
Application by qualified parties of payments under this part.

18.—(1) (a) A qualified party which receives payments under this Part shall, subject to guidelines issued by the Public Offices Commission pursuant to section 4 , apply such payments to any or all of the following purposes, namely—

(i) the general administration of the party,

(ii) research, education and training,

(iii) policy formulation, and

(iv) the co-ordination of the activities of the branches and members of the party.

(b) Payments made to a qualified party under this Part shall be deemed to include provision in respect of expenditure by the party in relation to the promotion of participation by women and young persons in political activity.

2012 Expenditure of the Party Leaders Allowance.

2013 Expenditure of the Party Leaders Allowance.

Stephen Donnelly on Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill. Jan 28, 2014.

Questioning Howlin | On funding for political parties. Jun 13, 2012.

Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Bill 2013


Parliamentary Activities Allowance
Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act 2014

2. Payment of Parliamentary Activities Allowance to parliamentary leaders of qualifying parties and to independent members

What used to be called the Leaders Allowance is now the Parliamentary Activities Allowance. It was reduced by 10%.

Draft Parliamentary Activities Allowance Guidelines for Parliamentary Party Leaders

One of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission responsibilites is
Deciding on level of secretarial facilities to be provided for members and parliamentary parties.


Links

How Political Parties, Groups and TDs are funded Scaled funding.
Catherine Murphy My own funding.
Catherine Murphy seeks to reform party funding and TD allowances, Government refuses to take amendments. 11th July 2012 Amendements to the Electoral (Amendment)(Political Funding) Bill 2011.
Political Funding: the Facts catherinemurphy.ie
CM Parliamentary Questions on Political Funding
Houses of the-Oireachtas Staffing Levels for Political Parties
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Members’ Allowances 21 February 2012 Paliamentary Question.

Oireachtas Staff Provision to Parties by Grade October 2012
Stephen Donnelly Analysis of Political Funding

S.I. No. 36/2008 - Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary offices) (Secretarial Facilities) Regulations 2008

How much do irish politicians get paid Namawinelake 18/02/2012

Jobbery in the Oireachtas 2012 – list of TDs and senators and their assistants

Dail's most powerful cabal keeps its secrets Shane Ross Sunday Independent 15/06/2014. Even TDs are not given minutes to Committee of Procedures and Privileges.

Seventh report of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges on standing orders 70a, 71 & 119 and the adoption of new standing orders 113a & 137a (2014.)

Technical Group by wikipedia user Jnestorius, more detailed then Wikipeida:Technical Group