Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Ceisteanna (260)

James Browne

Ceist:

260. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the agencies or organisations under the remit of his Department; the number that have boards; the number of positions on each board; the number of vacant positions; and the agencies or organisations that have boards whose members have an obligation to appear before committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas. [51499/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, my Department has responsibility for a large number of bodies, both statutory and non-statutory. Please find information provided in tabular format below to address the first three parts of the Deputy's question.

For the purposes of answering the Deputy's question, the definition of the 'board' is taken to encompass any entity where the positions of its governing authority are filled via the Public Appointments Service State Boards process.

Agency/State Body

Size of Board

Vacancies

An Garda Síochána

No Board

N/A

Censorship of Publications Board

5

1

Censorship of Publications Appeals Board*

5

5

Classification of Films Appeal Board

9

2

Coroner Service

No Board

N/A

The Courts Service of Ireland

18

0

Criminal Assets Bureau

No Board

N/A

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal

No Board

N/A

Forensic Science Ireland

No Board

N/A

Garda Síochána Arbitration Board

3

0

Garda Síochána Inspectorate

No Board

N/A

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission

3

0

Insolvency Service of Ireland

No Board

N/A

International Protection Appeals Tribunal

No Board

N/A

International Protection Office

No Board

N/A

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

12 to 15

8

Irish Prison Service

No Board

N/A

Judicial Appointments Advisory Board

11

1

Legal Aid Board

12

3

Legal Services Regulatory Authority

11

0

Mental Health (Criminal Law) Review Board

4

0

National Disability Authority

13

0

Office of the Data Protection Commissioner

No Board

N/A

Office of the Inspector of Prisons

No Board

N/A

Office of the State Pathologist

No Board

N/A

Parole Board

12 to 15

0

Policing Authority

9

0

Private Security Appeal Board

6

1

Private Security Authority

11

0

Probation Service

No Board

N/A

Property Services Appeal Board

5

1

Property Services Regulatory Authority

11

0

* The Censorship of Publications Appeals Board is not currently operational and therefore there are no members appointed to the Board at this time.

With respect to the obligations of board members to appear before the Oireachtas, under the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies, the Chief Executive Officer/Accounting Officer (rather than the Chair or any other Board members) of each State body is accountable to the Public Accounts Committee and other Oireachtas Committees.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards provides that persons being proposed by Ministers for appointment as Chairpersons of State bodies are required to make themselves available to the appropriate Oireachtas Select Committee to discuss the approach which they will take to their role as Chairperson and their views about the future contribution of the State body or Board in question.

It is important to note that while accountability to Oireachtas Committees is a vital part of the governance and oversight framework of agencies and bodies, the Code of Practice sets out a broad framework for the application of best practice based on principles of good governance, and incorporates provisions on board procedures and codes of conduct, business and financial reporting, audit and risk, remuneration and board self-assessment. It also provides for robust arrangements in terms of reporting to the parent Department.