I propose to take Questions Nos. 211, 212, 215 and 217 together.
The Board of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board is appointed by me as Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation in accordance with the provisions of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003 and in compliance with the procedures outlined in the ‘Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies (2016). The Board consists of a Chairperson, the Chief Executive and nine ordinary members of which six are nominated by external bodies designated under legislation. The six external bodies are as follows:
- 2 persons nominated by ICTU
- 1 person nominated by Ibec
- 1 person nominated by the Irish Insurance Federation (IIF)
- 1 person nominated by the Central Bank
- 1 person nominated by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
In addition to the six statutory nominees outlined above, members are generally recruited to the Board through open advertisement on the State Boards portal www.stateboards.ie operated by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) who, since 2014, have been responsible for putting in place an open, accessible, rigorous and transparent system to support Ministers in making appointments to State Boards.
There are currently two vacancies on the Board with a third position becoming vacant in July 2018. One of these vacancies will be filled by seeking a nominee from Insurance Ireland (formerly the Irish Insurance Federation) as one of the nominating bodies under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003.
The most recent advertisement on stateboards.ie seeks to recruit persons with medical and legal expertise for the other two Board positions. Candidates are sought on the basis of this expertise, rather than being representatives of either medical or legal bodies. Expertise in these areas is something the Board believes would be useful to its functioning and such skills have been available to the Board in the past. Other desirable criteria for the posts include: prior experience on a Board, Committee or Working Group at a senior level; knowledge of corporate governance and risk management; understanding of the public sector, in particular, accountability structures and reforms; as well as familiarity with claims assessment, the insurance industry and of personal injuries in particular.
Any individual who believes that they meet these criteria may apply and will be assessed in that regard.
As with all such advertisements, PAS advertise and manage the application process. When all applications are received, PAS will assemble an Assessment Panel to consider the applications and present a list of eligible candidates to the Department for onward transmission to me as Minister.
Corporate Governance standards require that Board Members act in good faith and in the best interests of the State body. The duty of Board Members is owed to the Agency and not to any specific stakeholder.