This Government adopted a significant innovation in 2011 to widen access for appointment to State Boards by providing that expressions of interest be sought publicly from all those that might be interested in serving on such Boards. Each year, I have invited expressions of Interest from people willing and interested in serving on the Boards of Bodies under the aegis of my Department and to support this process have provided information on these bodies, their activities, role and scale as well as the process of application on my Department's website.
Since becoming Minster, I have made 92 appointments to Boards under the aegis of my Department. Two thirds of these appointments (62) have overwhelmingly been from people in the private sector, while the remaining 31 have been either ex-officio, reappointments or appointments such as worker directors. All of the appointments have been made in light of the objectives of the organisations and on the basis of appointees having the necessary competencies, expertise and experience to contribute effectively to the work of the particular Boards, whilst also taking into consideration the legislative requirements where applicable. I am aware of the survey referred to by the Deputy and will continue to encourage the widest possible participation in the Boards of bodies under the aegis of my Department.