The Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 came into force on 25 September 2013 and paves the way for a banking inquiry. The Act provides a statutory framework for the Oireachtas to conduct inquiries within the current constitutional framework on parliamentary inquiries as set down by the Supreme Court in Maguire v Ardagh [2002] IR 387.

The Act allows for inquiries into the conduct of members of the Oireachtas in their capacity as officeholders, and also provides powers to hold to account the government of the day or any person who has consented to Dáil scrutiny in their contract or through a statutory appointment. The Act will facilitate a banking inquiry to go ahead, and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin T.D., has said conducting a parliamentary inquiry into the circumstances of the bank collapse was the best way forward as “no other possible models have been successful at meeting the public demand for a full account of this issue”.