Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Ceisteanna (76)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

83 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the name, purpose and numbers employed in each of the regulatory bodies under the auspices of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23518/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment)

The details sought in respect of those bodies under the aegis of my Department which have a regulatory function are as follows: The Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) is the national body with responsibility for accreditation in accordance with the relevant International Organisation for Standardisation ISO 17000 series of standards and guides and the harmonised EN 45000 series of European standards. The INAB provides accreditation of laboratories, certification and inspection bodies, attestors and attestation bodies and is the statutory body responsible for GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) and EMAS (European Eco-Management and Audit Schemes). INAB has 11 members of staff.

The Legal Metrology Service is a statutory body within the National Standards Authority of Ireland. Under the Metrology Acts 1980 to 1998 it exercises regulation making and control functions with regard to measurements, in particular those used for the purpose of trade. There are currently 27 employees.

The Office of the Registrar of Friendly Societies is a statutory independent office responsible for the registration of Industrial and Provident Societies, Friendly Societies and Trade Unions, to ensure that various societies and trade unions comply with their statutory obligations and the provision of accurate information to the public about the affairs of Societies and trade unions supervised by the Registry. There is ten staff assigned to the Office.

The Companies Registration Office is the statutory authority responsible for ensuring the filing of returns under the Companies Acts, provision of public access to accurate company information, the issue of certificates of incorporation for new companies, the maintenance of a register of mortgages and charges and the registration of business names and limited partnerships. There is currently 150 staff assigned to the CRO.

The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority was established pursuant to the provisions of Part 2 of the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act, 2003 to supervise the regulation by the accountancy bodies of their members. The Authority currently has eight employees, including one temporary staff member.

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement was established in 2001 and is responsible for encouraging compliance with the Companies Acts and investigating and enforcing suspected breaches of the legislation. There is 35.8 staff assigned to the office including 6 members of the Garda on secondment to the office.

The Irish Takeover Panel, established by the Irish Takeover Panel Act 1997, is the statutory body responsible for monitoring and supervising takeovers and other relevant transactions in Ireland. The Panel has a total of five employees.

The Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs was established under the Consumer Information Act, 1978. The Director is an independent statutory officer, responsible for enforcing a wide spectrum of consumer protection legislation, including the power to seek court orders and to prosecute for breaches of the Consumer Information Act, Consumer Credit, Package Travel, Food and Textile Labelling, Price Display Orders, Product Pricing, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts and Product Safety legislation. There is 65 staff assigned to the office.

The Competition Authority is an independent statutory body responsible for enforcing competition law in the State. The Authority currently employs 47 staff.

The Labour Court provides a comprehensive service for the resolution of disputes about industrial relations, equality, organisation of working time, national minimum wage, part-time work and fixed-term work matters. Some aspects of the Labour Court's responsibilities have a regulatory function, e.g. in relation to Employment Regulation Orders and Registered Employment Agreements. There is 25 staff assigned to the Labour Court, including four shared with the Labour Relations Commission.

The Health and Safety Authority is the national statutory body charged with responsibility for enforcement of occupational safety and health law; the promotion and encouragement of accident prevention; and the provision of information, advice and research. The Authority is a state-sponsored body, established under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989, formerly known as the National Authority for Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH). Since the passing in 2005 of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 the Authority's remit is now based on the provisions of that Act. The Authority is the designated interim national competent body for the administration and enforcement of EU chemicals regulation in this country and it is also the national competent authority for the implementation of EU regulations concerning transportable pressure equipment. The Authority's sanctioned staff numbers are 185 for 2006 (including 21 for EU chemicals regulation).

Question No. 84 answered with QuestionNo. 71.