Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (299)

James Browne

Question:

299. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the agencies or organisations under the remit of her Department; the number that have boards; the number of positions on each board; the number of vacant positions; and the agencies or organisations that have boards whose members have an obligation to appear before committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas. [51488/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Agencies and Organisations under the remit of my Department are listed below with the information requested by the Deputy in each case.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission does not have a Board.

Health and Safety Authority

The Health and Safety Authority operates with a 12 member Board. There are no vacant positions on the Board.

There is no obligation under the governing legislation of the Health and Safety Authority (the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005) on Board members to appear before Oireachtas Committees.

However, under the 2014 Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards, persons being proposed by the Minister for appointment as Chairperson of the Board are required to make themselves available to the appropriate Oireachtas Committee to discuss the approach which they will take to their role as Chairperson and their views about the future contribution of the body or Board in question.

Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland’s Board consists of 12 members. There are no board vacancies at present.

There is no obligation on Enterprise Ireland Board members to appear before Oireachtas Committees.

However, under the 2014 Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards, persons being proposed by the Minister for appointment as Chairperson of the Board are required to make themselves available to the appropriate Oireachtas Committee to discuss the approach which they will take to their role as Chairperson and their views about the future contribution of the body or Board.

IDA Ireland

IDA Ireland’s Board consists of 12 members. There is currently one vacancy.

There is no obligation on IDA Board members to appear before Oireachtas Committees.

However, under the 2014 Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards, persons being proposed by the Minister for appointment as Chairperson of the Board are required to make themselves available to the appropriate Oireachtas Committee to discuss the approach which they will take to their role as Chairperson and their views about the future contribution of the body or Board.

InterTradeIreland

The InterTradeIreland (ITI) Board consists of 12 members. There are currently four vacancies on the Board. InterTradeIreland (ITI) Board Appointments are approved by the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC). However, the NSMC has been unable to meet since the Northern Ireland Executive ceased to function in January 2017, and so it has not been possible to appoint new members to the Board at this time.

The Board reports directly to the NSMC, and under its defining legislation (the British–Irish Agreement Act, 1999) there is no obligation on Board members to appear before Oireachtas Committees.

The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority

The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) Board is made up of not more than nine directors, eight of whom are appointed by the Minister. There are currently no vacancies on the Board of IAASA.

Section 929 of the Companies Act 2014 sets out provisions in respect of accountability of IAASA to Dáil Éireann, which states that whenever required to do so by the Committee of Dáil Éireann, established under the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann to examine and report to Dáil Éireann on the appropriation accounts and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Chief Executive Officer and the Chairperson of the board of the Supervisory Authority shall give evidence to that Committee in respect of a number of issues as set out in the Act.

National Standards Authority of Ireland

The Board of the National Standards Authority of Ireland, established under the National Standards Authority of Ireland Act 1996, is comprised of 13 members. Currently there is one vacant position on the NSAI Board.

There is no obligation under the NSAI Act 1996 for NSAI Board members to appear before Oireachtas Committees.

However, under the 2014 Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards, persons being proposed by the Minister for appointment as Chairperson of the Board are required to make themselves available to the appropriate Oireachtas Committee to discuss the approach which they will take to their role as Chairperson and their views about the future contribution of the body or Board.

Personal Injuries Assessment Board

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board, established under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, provides that the members including the Chairperson and the Chief Executive will not exceed 11 persons. Including the Chairperson, there are currently 10 persons appointed to the Board.

Following an open recruitment process undertaken by the Public Appointments Service a new Chief Executive Officer of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board has been appointed and is due to take up the role in March 2020.

Section 65 of 2003 Act provides for the accountability of the Chief Executive to the Committee of Public Accounts. Section 66 of the Act provides for the accountability of the Chief Executive to other Oireachtas Committees to attend and give account for the general administration of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.

Additionally, under the 2014 Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards, persons being proposed by the Minister for appointment as Chairperson of the Board are required to make themselves available to the appropriate Oireachtas Committee to discuss the approach which they will take to their role as Chairperson and their views about the future contribution of the body or Board.

Science Foundation Ireland

Science Foundation Ireland’s board consists of 12 members. There is currently one vacancy which is in the process of being filled.

The Industrial Development (Science Foundation Ireland) Act 2003 sets out that the Director General shall, whenever required to do so by the Committee of Dáil Éireann, established under the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann to examine and report to Dáil Éireann on the appropriation accounts and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, give evidence to the Committee in respect of a number of issues as set out in the Act.

From time to time, and whenever so requested, the Director General shall also account for the performance by the Foundation of its functions to a Committee of one or both Houses of the Oireachtas and the Foundation shall have regard to any recommendations of such committee where the recommendations concern the functions of the Foundation.

Workplace Relations Commission

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) was established under the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and is an office under the aegis of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Section 22 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 provides that the WRC shall have a Board consisting of a Chairperson and eight ordinary members.

There is currently one vacancy for an ordinary member on the WRC board. Recruitment of a replacement to fill this vacancy is underway through a competition being conducted by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

The WRC Board does not have an obligation to appear before committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas. However, the Director General of the WRC is required to attend before the Committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas, other than the Dáil Committee on the appropriation accounts and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Committee on Members Interests of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Eireann.

Other Organisations under the Aegis of the Department

Microfinance Ireland (MFI), is a not-for-profit lender, established to deliver the Microenterprise Loan Fund. It has a Board of ten people and there are currently no vacant positions. There is no obligation on MFI members to appear before Oireachtas Committees. Both the Trade Mark Agent Registration Board and the Patents Agent Registration Board have five members each and no vacancies. Neither have an obligation to appear before committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas.