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State Bodies

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 5 October 2021

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Questions (501, 502, 503, 504, 505)

Rose Conway-Walsh

Question:

501. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if he will provide a list of the members of the Student Grants Appeals Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47625/21]

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Rose Conway-Walsh

Question:

502. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science the rationale for reducing the number of members of the Student Grants Appeals Board from 11 to seven; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47626/21]

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Rose Conway-Walsh

Question:

503. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science the years for which annual reports were prepared by the Student Grants Appeals Board for the relevant Department since its formation in 2011; the specific years in which the relevant Department requested an annual report from the Student Grant Appeals Board since its formation in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47627/21]

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Rose Conway-Walsh

Question:

504. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies 2016, an oversight agreement has been put in place between his Department and the Student Grants Appeals Board; if not, if any exemption has been sought from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47628/21]

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Rose Conway-Walsh

Question:

505. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science when he or another Minister or Minister of State from the Department of Education last met with the Student Grants Appeals Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47629/21]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 501 to 505, inclusive, together.

The Student Grants Appeals Board (the Board) was established under Section 25 of the Student Support Act 2011 and under Section 21(4)(a) is independent in the performance of its functions. Appointments to the Board are in compliance with The Public Appointments Service (PAS) process.

Under Section 25 (4) of the Student Support Act, the Appeals Board shall consist of a Chairperson and such number of ordinary members as shall by determined by the Minister but which in any case shall not exceed 11 persons.

The term of office of the Appeals Board is for 5 years and the current Board commenced in September 2021.

The current Board comprises of a Chairperson and 6 ordinary members.

Mr. John Horan, Chairperson

Mr. Kevin Donoghue

Mr. James Doorley

Ms. Lorna Fitzpatrick

Ms. Laura Harmon

Ms. Mary Jane Meegan

Mr. Liam O’Callaghan

Under Section 27 of the Student Support Act, the Appeals Board shall submit a report of its activities to the Minister at such intervals and in such manner and form as the Minister directs.

A report was submitted by the Student Grant Appeals Board for the 2011/2012 year and is available on the gov.ie website. It is my intention to seek reports from the new Student Grant Appeals Board during the course of their term.

As the Deputy will appreciate the new Board has just been appointed under Section 25 of the Student Support Act. All governance requirements will be considered by the Board in consultation with the Department.

I did not have the opportunity to meet the Board since my appointment in July 2020. However, under Section 25(14) the Minister may furnish such support of an administrative nature to the Appeals Board as in the opinion of the Minister is necessary in order that the Board may properly perform its functions. Officials from my Department attend all Board meetings and are in regular contact with the Board.

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