Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Questions (44)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

44. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Taoiseach the action he is taking to encourage more Irish executives to serve on State boards under the remit of his Department; his views on the recent Merc Partners survey; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12465/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

I make appointments to the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) and the National Statistics Board. In relation to the NESC, most of the appointments are on the basis of nominations from organisations or interests or are public servants. I also appoint a number of independent members, and at present most of these come from the academic sector.

Appointments to the National Statistics Board (NSB) are made in line with the Statistics Act 1993 under which the Taoiseach appoints seven people:

- five persons of proven ability and experience in relevant fields, two of whom shall be nominated by the Taoiseach and three of whom shall be nominated by such organisation or organisations as the Taoiseach considers to be representative of the users of official statistics and providers of information under this Act,

- an Assistant Secretary or equivalent or higher grade in the Department of the Taoiseach, and

- an Assistant Secretary or equivalent or higher grade in the Department of Finance.

The Director General of the CSO is also a member of the board, ex officio.

Expressions of interest were invited for positions on the National Statistics Board on the websites of the Department of the Taoiseach and the National Statistics Board late last year, on expiry of the term of office of the board. This provided an opportunity for persons from a wide variety of backgrounds to express an interest in contributing to the work of the board.

I am satisfied that an appropriate range of expert skills and abilities are available for appointment in both cases.