The Credit Union Advisory Committee (CUAC) is a committee established under section 180 of the Credit Union Act 1997. The function of the CUAC is to advise the Minister for Finance and such other persons as I think fit, in relation to the improvement of the management of Credit Unions, the protection of the interests of members and creditors of credit unions and other matters relating to credit unions.
The legislation provides that every person appointed to the CUAC shall be chosen by the Minister for Finance. Under section 180(3) of the 1997 Act, on 25 September, 2018 I appointed four persons to the CUAC for three years to 31 August 2021.
In terms of the process, an advertisement, including an information booklet, was posted on www.stateboards.ie in May of this year seeking expressions of interest for appointment of new members to the CUAC. 36 expressions of interest were received from the Public Appointments Service. In addition to this the Department also had an additional 12 expressions of interest from the previous recruitment process in 2017. In total 48 expressions of interest were considered in the process.
A shortlisting exercise was undertaken to assist in selecting candidates for further consideration, based on requirements as outlined in the advertisement. The shortlisting exercise involved assessing each candidate (based on the information provided) on the following;
- Experience/expertise relevant to credit unions;
- Financial and business expertise;
- Experience of credit union restructuring; and
- Communication and relationship building skills.
Following this exercise 12 candidates were selected to attend an interview conducted by officials from my Department. In order to maintain diversity in the selection process, the interview board included a mix in terms of gender and perspectives. Following the interview process four candidates were selected for appointment to the CUAC. On 25 September, I issued a press release appointing the following new members to the CUAC:
1. Lorraine Corcoran, Director, Afanite
2. Olive McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in University College Cork (UCC)
3. Seamus Newcombe, Chief Executive, Payac Services CLG
4. Diarmaid O’Keeffe, Head of Audit, EisenAmper Ireland
The new members are in addition to two existing members of CUAC, both credit union managers, who have good credit union management and restructuring experience. The new CUAC now consists of six members and provide a good balance with backgrounds in credit union management, restructuring, academia, accounting and financial experience.
I am satisfied that each appointed member of the CUAC has the requisite experience and knowledge of credit union matters and will make a valuable contribution towards dealing with the challenges facing the sector at this important time for the Irish credit union movement.
The new committee met for the first time on 15 October 2018. The Committee is currently considering an indicative work plan for the next few years and will report to me on progress when this is in place.