LABOUR TD for Cork South-West Michael McCarthy has welcomed the launch if the new parliamentary petitions system which enables members of the public to take their policy concerns directly to the heart of Parliament and influence the parliamentary agenda.
Deputy McCarthy, who is Vice-Chair of the Committee in charge of administering the new system, said it will ensure that citizens have a greater say in policy issues.
“In the past, there was no formal route available to members of the public who had carried out a petition on a public service problem. In many cases, petitions of this nature are time-consuming and take a lot of work, so it was unfortunate that the processes weren’t in place within the Oireachtas to match this effort.
This will change under the new system, whereby the Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions Committee, of which I am Vice-Chair, will receive and process public petitions submitted to the Houses of the Oireachtas, with a view to identifying improvements in the delivery of public services to citizens.
This is the first time in the 93 years since the Oireachtas was created that ordinary citizens will have a direct route to influence the parliamentary agenda. It is an indication of how this Government wants to consider to a greater extent the voices and views of people on the ground, which is fundamental to a modern democracy.
I was recently elected to the Constitutional Convention, which is another example of the Government’s commitment to involving more people in the process of parliament and in particular, constitutional reform. Between the Public Petitions system and the Convention, I am hopeful that citizens will begin to feel greater ownership of the parliamentary agenda and feel more included in decisions that affect their day-today lives.”
For more information visit: petitions.oireachtas.ie