Government Legislation Committee

The Government Legislation Committee (GLC) is chaired by the Government Chief Whip and its members include the Attorney General, the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, the Programme Managers of the main parties in Government, the Leader of Seanad Éireann (Upper House of the Irish Parliament) and representatives of the Department of the Taoiseach and the OPC.

The OPC works closely with the GLC in ensuring that the Government Legislation Programme is implemented. The function of the GLC is to assist the Government in fixing legislative priorities for the forthcoming parliamentary session and to oversee the implementation of the Government legislation programme. It does this by making recommendations to the Government in relation to the level of priority that should be accorded to the drafting of each Bill (the drafting of which has been authorised by Government) and by anticipating blockages that might occur in the system and recommending appropriate action to avoid delays in the drafting process.

Before the commencement of each Dáil session the Government publishes a press release which sets out its legislative priorities for that session. The GLC is involved in preparing the draft press release. The draft press release is circulated among Ministers before the Chairperson of the GLC seeks Government approval for its publication. At this stage Ministers may indicate their legislative priorities for the forthcoming Dáil session. The legislative priorities set out in the press release determine the work programme for the OPC for the Dáil session concerned.

The GLC provides a vital mechanism of mediation in respect of the competing claims of Departments for the services of Parliamentary Counsel.