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Sinn Féin publishes draft terms of reference for new commission on water services

29 April, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane has this morning published a terms of reference for a commission to establish the best public ownership model to replace Irish Water.

Deputy Cullinane said his party will send the terms of reference to Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil with a recommendation that they be used for the commission that those two parties have agreed to form.

Speaking from Leinster House today Deputy Cullinane said;

“Irish Water is a failed entity. It has no public support. Water charges have been given their marching orders from the voting public.

“It is vitally important that any new body established to replace Irish Water has the full confidence of the public to manage and deliver our water and sewerage services and to fund and govern those services appropriately.

“Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have agreed to establish a commission on this and Sinn Féin is today publishing what we believe should be the terms of reference for that committee.

“In order for any new body to have full public confidence water charges must be gone and gone permanently.”

Terms of reference for Independent Commission on Irish water services:

The aim of this Commission is to ensure that there is public trust and confidence in the arrangements for financing and delivering water and sewerage services for all citizens in this State.

To independently advise the Houses of the Oireachtas on the level of exchequer funding required  following the abolition of domestic charges and related options to finance the State water and sewerage services now and in the future.

To advise on the level of investment in our water and sewerage infrastructure needed to deliver quality, water and sewage infrastructure in a cost effective and efficient manner. 

To bring forward an organisational model to replace Irish Water which will be publicly owned, protects the public interest and complies with EU standards.

The Independent Commission will consist of a chairperson and no less than 4 additional members and should as far as possible collectively reflect the following elements:

- Independence

- Expertise and knowledge within Ireland North or South, or international.

- Public administration

- Regulatory, operational/management and environmental expertise in utility;

- Economic and academic expertise;

- Workers rights and consumer interest expertise

 Process would be completed and presented to the Oireachtas within 9 months of being established.  It would have an independent secretariat.

The public ownership model options presented by the Commission to replace Irish Water would come before the Dáil and Seanad and be enshrined in legislation once agreed.

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