Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (130)

Michael Healy-Rae


130. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Taoiseach the number of appointments he has made from March 2011 to January 2013 to State boards; in the case of each appointment, the number of appointments that were made to members of the general public who submitted a curriculum vitae for the appointment; the number of direct appointments he made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11482/13]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The National Economic and Social Council (NESC) is the only State agency under the aegis of my Department. The NESC provides guidance to Government on strategic issues for Ireland’s economic and social development. Since coming into office on 9 March 2011, I have made appointments to the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) as set out in the table beneath. The appointments are made in accordance with the National Economic and Social Development Office Act 2006 and S.I. No. 603 of 2010, National Economic and Social Council (Alteration of Composition) Order 2010.

I appoint members specifically on the basis of nominations from business and employer interests, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, farming and agricultural interests, the community and voluntary sector and the environmental sector. I may also appoint up to six public servants of whom at least one shall represent the Taoiseach and one shall represent the Minister for Finance. These appointments represent relevant Departments to ensure NESC's work is integrated with Government policy-making. I also appointed eight independent members to the NESC in 2011, in most cases from the academic sector. These appointments were made following careful consideration of the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise relevant to the functions of the Council as required by the legislation.

The Government has put new arrangements in place for the making of appointments to State boards. In the particular case of the NESC, I should emphasise that most of the members of NESC are appointed on the basis of nominations received from representative organisations. Historically, the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson posts are filled from my Department at Secretary General and Assistant Secretary level.

I am satisfied that the other appointments were appropriate, bearing in mind the key strategic role of the NESC. However the option of utilising the new process for expressions of public interest will be considered when the next round of appointments of independent members to the NESC arises.

Table 1: Details of appointments made by the Taoiseach to NESC since 9 March 2011 are set out in the following table.



Date of


Mr. Martin Fraser, Chairperson of NESC

Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach

August 2011

Mr. John Shaw, Deputy Chairperson of NESC

Assistant Secretary, Department of the Taoiseach

January 2012

Prof. Edgar Morgenroth

Associate Research Professor, Economic and Social Research Institute

June 2011

Prof. John McHale

Economist, National University of Ireland, Galway

June 2011

Prof. Mary Daly

Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, Senior Research Fellow of Green Templeton College, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

June 2011

Prof. Anna Davis

Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin

June 2011

Prof. Seán Ó Riain

Department of Sociology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

June 2011

Dr. Michael O’Sullivan

Head of Portfolio Strategy and Thematic Research, Credit Suisse, London

June 2011

Ms. Mary Walsh

Chartered Accountant

June 2011

Dr. Michelle Norris

Senior Lecturer, School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin.

July 2011

Mr. Shay Cody


September 2011

Mr. John Murphy

Secretary General, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

November 2011

Mr. Seán Ó Foghlú

Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills

February 2012

Mr. John Moran

Secretary General, Department of Finance

March 2012

An Assistant Secretary from my Department was appointed to the National Statistics Board (NSB) on 13 September 2012. This appointment was made in line with the provisions of Section 18 (1)(b) of the Statistics Act 1993, which provides for the appointment to the NSB of a representative of my Department at Assistant Secretary or higher grade. My functions in relation to the NSB were delegated to the Government Chief Whip, Minister of State Paul Kehoe T.D., on 22 March 2011 who therefore made this appointment.