Written Answers - Appointments to State Boards.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 694 No. 1

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  83.  Deputy Mary Upton  Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton   asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the procedures used for the selection of persons for appointment to the board of the Equality Authority; the organisations or sectors that are consulted in the selection process; the contact he has had with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions regarding the appointment of board members; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40166/09]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  The procedure for making appointments to the Board of the Equality Authority is set out in Part V of the Employment Equality Act 1998 as amended.

Section 44 of the Act provides that two persons (one male and one female) shall be appointed on the nomination by organisations representative of employees and two persons (one male and one female) shall be appointed on the nomination by organisations representative of employers.

The section provides that the remaining number of ordinary members of the Authority shall be such persons as appear to the Minister to be persons who have knowledge of, or experience in — (i) consumer, social affairs or equality issues, including issues relating to the experience and circumstances of groups who are disadvantaged by reference to gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin or membership of the Traveller community, (ii) issues related to the provision of goods and services, or (iii) such other subject-matter (including law, finance, management or administration) as appears to the Minister to be relevant to the issues to which the functions of the Authority relate.

[92]Apart from the provision relating to nominations from employee or employer organisations, the Act does not list organisations or sectors to be consulted prior to the making of appointments.

Section 44 provides that where a casual vacancy occurs among any members of the Authority nominated by employee or employer organisations the Minister shall forthwith invite the organisation which made the nomination concerned to nominate a person for appointment to fill the vacancy and the Minister shall appoint to fill the vacancy the person so nominated.

When the members of the Authority appointed on the nomination of ICTU and IBEC resigned, I immediately wrote to ICTU and IBEC requesting them to nominate persons for appointment. IBEC made such nominations but ICTU have not done so to date. The General Secretary of ICTU wrote to me raising certain issues to which I have recently responded.

The Act provides that the Authority shall consist of not less than 12 and not more than 16 members. There are 13 members at present.


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