Thursday, 22 February 2018

Ceisteanna (63)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

63. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance the way in which vacancies for the positions of governor, deputy governor and executive directors of the Central Bank are filled; and the reason public competitions are not held for all these positions in view of the crucial role of the bank in monetary policy. [9141/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I wish to clarify for the Deputy that where vacancies in the positions of deputy governors and directors of the Central Bank of Ireland arise, open competitions are the usual method of filling the vacancies. The current Governor was also appointed by open competition.

The legislative background for filling vacancies for the positions of governor, deputy governors and directors of the Central Bank of Ireland is set out below.

(i) Governor

Section 19 of the Central Bank Act 1942 provides that the Governor shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Government. 

The current Governor was appointed after an open call for expressions of interest in tandem with the hiring of specialist international Executive Search services, the rationale behind the dual process being to ensure as open a competition as possible.

(ii) Deputy Governor

In a legislative context, the Central Bank’s Deputy Governors are referenced as “Heads of Function” (Section 23 of the Central Bank Act 1942 provides that a reference to the Heads of Function is a reference to the Head of Central Banking and the Head of Financial Regulation). Section 23B of the Central Bank Act 1942 further provides:

(1) The Commission shall, with the consent of the Minister, appoint suitably qualified persons as Heads of Function.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), an appointment as a Head of Function shall be made by open competition.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to the appointment of a Head of Function if the Commission, with the consent of the Minister, decides that appointment to the office by open competition would be inappropriate.

“The Commission” in this Section 23B refers to the Central Bank Commission while “the Minister” refers to the Minister for Finance.  The Head of Central Banking and the Head of Financial Regulation are known as the Deputy Governor – Central Banking and the Deputy Governor – Prudential Regulation respectively.

(iii) Director

The role of director within the Central Bank of Ireland is not a statutory role and has no legislative basis.  A director within the Central Bank does not sit on the Central Bank Commission. Section 6D of the Central Bank Act 1942 addresses the appointment of staff within the Central Bank generally (including directors).  This section provides that an appointment must be made by competition to be conducted in accordance with rules made by the Commission but this provision does not apply in circumstances where the Commission decides that appointment to the position by competition would be inappropriate.

Based on the foregoing, vacancies at Deputy Governor and Executive Director level are generally filled by open competition advertised for a 2-3 week duration through national and, on occasion, international media.  Applicants are then shortlisted into the selection process which is as follows:

- 1st round interview – generally a technical and competency based interview;

- Assessment Centre – conducted by external occupational psychologists;

- 2nd round interview & presentation – one relevant non-executive Central Bank Commission member participates at this stage of the process and an external independent panel member may also participate at this stage. For all Director level vacancies, a combination of any two from the Deputy Governor Central Banking, Deputy Governor Prudential Regulation or Director General Financial Conduct also participate. 

- For Director level roles, the final stage of the process is an interview with the Governor. 

On occasion, vacancies at Director level, may be filled by a lateral transfer (i.e. by a serving member of staff at the same salary grade as the vacancy).  On such occasions, and where the full selection process as outlined above is not considered necessary, the lateral transfer decision to appoint to the role will be made by the Governor, in consultation with a relevant non-executive Commission member and the relevant members of the Governor’s Committee.

The above process has been approved by the Central Bank’s Audit Committee and aligns with Section 3.8 of the 2016 Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies which states that states that non-executive directors should bring an independent judgment to bear on issues of strategy, performance, resources, key appointments, and standards of conduct in State Bodies. 

The following roles in the Bank are considered as “key appointments” for the purpose of Section 3.8 of the 2016 Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies:

- Deputy Governor-Central Banking;

- Deputy Governor-Prudential Regulation;

- Director General- Financial Conduct;

- Chief Operations Officer;

- All executive Director roles;

- Head of Internal Audit;

- Head of Organisational Risk;

- Head of Financial Control;

- Registrar of Credit Unions;

- General Counsel;

- Secretary of the Central Bank.