I propose to take Questions Nos. 67 and 68 together.
I have not made any public appointments since 22 November, 2010.
Preparations for the appointment of a new Public Service Board, to be chaired by Minister of State Dara Calleary, are continuing. With a majority of members from outside the Public Service, it will advise the Government on further opportunities and priorities for transformation and efficiency, and on the capacity of the Public Service to lead change and to deliver a high standard of performance. This will inform the approach of the Government and Public Service management to the transformation process over the period ahead.
Following the dissolution of two of the constituent bodies under the National Economic and Social Development Office (the NCPP and the NESF), it was decided that the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) should be reconstituted in a manner which takes into account the changes to the overall structure of Social Partnership, in particular the inclusion of the Environmental Pillar. It was also decided to increase the number of independent members to provide greater external input to the work of the Council. These changes coincided with the conclusion of the term of the Council in Summer 2010.
Last week, a motion of approval of the National Economic and Social Council (Alteration of Composition) Order 2010 was passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, facilitating these changes. Consequently, I expect to appoint new members of the Council shortly. The majority of the membership is appointed on the basis of nominations received from social partner organisations.
Other than in these areas, I am not due to make any public appointments between 14 December 2010 and 28 February 2011 at present.