The only body under the aegis of my Department is the Army Pensions Board. The Army Pensions Board is an independent statutory body established under the Army Pensions Act 1927. The main functions of the Board are to investigate applications for pensions, allowances and gratuities. The Act specifies that the Board shall consist of a chairman and two ordinary members. Under the Act, the two ordinary members must be qualified medical practitioners – one a civilian doctor and the other an officer of the Army Medical Corps. The chairman and the civilian doctor are appointed by the Minister for Defence with the concurrence of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. The Army Medical Corps ordinary member is appointed by the Minister for Defence on the recommendation of the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces.
There have been two appointments to the Army Pensions Board since the Government took office. A serving officer was appointed to the position of Army Medical Corps member of the Board in December 2011, and a civilian doctor was appointed as ordinary member in November 2013. The civilian doctor vacancy was advertised on my Department’s website and the Public Appointments Service website.
I am satisfied that the procedures in place for filling vacancies on the Army Pensions Board ensure that the most suitably qualified candidates are appointed.