The Fiscal Responsibility Act came into effect in December 2012. The introduction of the Act was part of a wider agenda of budgetary reform, benchmarked under the Programme for Government 2011 and the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland.
The Act established the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council as a statutory body and legislated for the implementation of national and EU fiscal rules. Further EU regulations (July 2013) resulted in the Council being assigned the role of the independent body that would endorse the macroeconomic forecasts produced by the Department of Finance on which Budgets and Stability Programmes are based (implemented by Ministers and Secretaries Amendment Act 2013). The process of this additional function is outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding) between the Council and the Department of Finance.
The Acts ensure the independence of the Council in the operation of its functions.