Written Answers. - Departmental Bodies.
189 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the committees, boards, companies or other bodies under the auspices of her Department which were established pursuant to statutory instrument; if she will give details of the statutory instrument in each case; if there are any proposals to have the body in question given a basis in statute as opposed to statutory instrument; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19660/00]
190 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the committees, boards, companies or other bodies under the auspices of her Department which were established otherwise than pursuant to statute or statutory instrument; if there are any proposals to have the body in question given a statutory basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19675/00]
191 Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the committees, boards, companies or other bodies under the auspices of her Department which it is proposed to establish; if it is intended that each such body will have a statutory basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19690/00]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 189, 190 and 191 together.
The following are details of the committees, boards, companies or other bodies which the Deputy requires:
Existing – Non-statutory:
In February this year I set up the Company Law Review Group, CLRG, a group charged with developing proposals for the review and reform of company law. The group has been set up on an interim basis pending its being given a statutory existence on foot of enactment of the Company Law Enforcement Bill, currently before the Oireachtas.
I established the review group on auditing following the first report by the Committee of Public Accounts of the parliamentary inquiry into DIRT, which proposed that a number of areas of possible reform in the auditing pro fession should be examined. It is not proposed to establish this body on a statutory basis.
CROlink, the Companies Registration Office Users' Council, was established in January 1996. There are no proposals to give CROlink a statutory basis.
The Foreign Earnings Committee was established by Government decision in 1993, and further restructured in 1994. Its function is to assume responsibility for co-ordinating the promotional activities of all the agencies and Departments with representation overseas.
The Asia Pacific Strategy Group was established under the auspices of the Foreign Earnings Committee following the adoption by the Government of the Strategy for Long-Term Development of Foreign Earnings in Asia in 1999. It oversees the implementation of the strategy.
The Trade Advisory Forum is a consultative body chaired by the Minister of State with responsibility for labour, trade and consumer affairs. Its purpose is to provide a forum for consultation between the export sector and the relevant Departments and state agencies and to act in an advisory capacity to the Minister in determining policy.
As the fourth, fifth and sixth bodies serve consultative or co-ordination functions, they do not have a statutory basis and it is not intended to give them one.
An inter-departmental and agency group was established on a non-statutory basis to oversee Ireland's participation in EXPO 2000. As the group will expire shortly, since its mandate will come to a natural end once EXPO 2000 is over, the question of establishing it on a statutory basis is not relevant.
The Competition and Mergers Review Group, the report of which I published on 4 May 2000, was established by my predecessor in September 1996. This group finalised its work earlier this year.
The European Consumer Centre offers advice to consumers on their rights in respect of both domestic and EU legislation as well as being a resource location for information on cross-border consumer protection matters. The centre was first launched in December 1996, and since January 1999 it operates as an independent company. There are no proposals to have it given a statutory basis.
In 1997, the Minister for Enterprise and Employment established the Patents Office Users Council to consider and report to the Minister on the administration of industrial property protection by the Patents Office and to advise on appropriate changes and innovations in the operation of the office. There are no proposals to give a statutory basis to the Patents Office Users Council at this time.
Implementation Group on the Forfás Report on E Commerce – the Policy Requirements: the report on E Commerce – The Policy Requirements was published in July 1999, by Forfás at my request. This group was set up in October 1999, to oversee the implementation of the recommendations in the report. There are no proposals to have this group function on a statutory basis.
Inter-departmental eEurope Action Plan Group: the – eEurope 2002 Action Plan – was agreed by the European Council at Feira in June 2000. The aim of the action plan is to increase Europe's competitiveness by exploiting the opportunities of the new digital economy and in particular the Internet. The above group was set up in September 2000 to co-ordinate Ireland's response to the implementation of the recommendations in the action plan. There are no proposals to have this group function on a statutory basis.
On 22 February 2000 a timber industry development group was launched. There are no proposals to give the group a statutory basis.
The eWork Action Forum was established to provide a focal point for the ongoing development of an environment which will stimulate telework/ework employment opportunities and ensure that this method of working achieves its full potential in contributing to economic growth and an improved quality of life. The forum was established on a non-statutory basis and it is not intended to establish it on a statutory basis.
The National Competitiveness Council was established on a non-statutory basis – there is no intention of giving it statutory backing.
A national minimum wage monitoring Committee has been set up to monitor implementation of the provision of the National Minimum Wage Act. There are no plans to give the committee a statutory basis.
A national framework committee has been set up under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness. The purpose of this national framework is to identify actions to be undertaken by the social partners at national level that support family friendly policies in the workplace. There are no plans to give the committee a statutory basis.
The monitoring group on the organisation of Working Time Act, 1997. There are no plans to have this group placed on a statutory basis.
Tripartite Group on Part-Time Work Directive (Directive 97/81/EC of 15 December, 1997). There are no plans to have this group placed on a statutory basis.
Monitoring Group on the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996. There are no plans to have this group placed on a statutory basis.
The Task Force on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying and the Review Group on Public Safety were both established otherwise than pursuant to statute or statutory instrument. There are no proposals to place either body on a statutory basis.
An interdepartmental committee on science and technology has been established. There are no plans to give it a statutory basis.
A technology foresight advisory group on implementation has been established. There are no plans to give it a statutory basis.
An interdepartmental group on modern biotechnology has been established. There are no plans to give it a statutory basis.
A PPF standing committee on labour market issues has been established. There are no plans for establishing on statutory basis.
As provided for under framework IV of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, my Department established in early 2000 a Lifelong Learning Task Force, in collaboration with the Department of Education and Science, which involves representation from relevant stakeholders and includes representatives of the social partners. There is no proposal to put the task force on a statutory footing.
Existing – Statutory Instrument:
The Motor Insurance Advisory Board was established under Statutory Instrument S.I. No. 299 of 1984. This order may be cited as the Motor Insurance Advisory Board (Establishment) Order, 1984. There are no plans to have this body given a basis in statute as opposed to statutory instrument.
Proposed – Non-statutory:
Users' Group for the Office of the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
It is proposed to establish on a non-statutory basis in the coming months a Users' Group for the Office of the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
Employment and Human Resources Operational Programme. As provided for under the National Development Plan, my Department is the designated managing authority for the Employment and Human Resources Operational Programme. The operational programme will be overseen by a monitoring committee to be established and chaired by my Department. The committee will have decision-making powers in the case of European Social Fund part-funded activity. It will be a non-statutory committee and will agree its own rules of procedure, in accordance with the provisions of both the National Development Plan and the community support framework agreed with the European Commission.
As provided for in the National Development Plan, my Department will establish and chair a horizontal employment and human resources development co-ordinating committee to monitor European Social Fund part-funded activity and related employment/labour market interests. The role of the committee will be to consider key policy issues and actions in such fields. The committee will not have a decision-making role and will be non-statutory.
A high level steering committee has been proposed to assist the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment in relation to the activities of Science Foundation Ireland so as to ensure an appropriate consultation process between the foundation's activities and other research funding agencies. There are no plans to give it a statutory basis.
An interdepartmental committee has been proposed with co-ordination role in regard to expenditure by Government Departments on research technology and innovation, RTI. There are no plans to give it a statutory basis.
A NAPS /employment committee is to be established – there is no proposal for establishing on statutory basis.
Proposed – Statutory:
Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement – the Company Law Enforcement Bill 2000 provides for the establishment of the post of Director of Corporate Enforcement with the functions of enforcing and ensuring compliance with the Companies Acts. It is proposed to appoint a director-designate in advance of enactment of the legislation in order to oversee the establishment of the office and to ensure that there is no delay in the office being functional after enactment.
Question No. 190 with Question No. 189; Question No. 191 with Question No. 189.