Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Questions (118, 119)

Martin Ferris

Question:

247 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food his proposals on the appointment of the replacement for a person (details supplied) on the board of Teagasc; and if it contravened the Government's commitment to gender balance on public boards. [2821/04]

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Paul Connaughton

Question:

249 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he is satisfied with the gender balance of the present board of Teagasc; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2826/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture and Food)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 and 249 together.

The Teagasc authority comprises a chairman and ten ordinary members. Five of the ordinary members are nominated by outside organisations and five are nominated by me. The five, which I nominate, are appointed by me on the basis of their knowledge or experience of agriculture, agricultural research, education, food processing, the food industry or the management of commercial enterprises. Each appointment is the most suitable, in the best interest of the organisation and the overall balance of the board. I am fully committed to the policies of equality and gender balance and actively promote these policies as far as possible.