Thursday, 13 October 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
37. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Finance if the National Treasury Management Agency is the appropriate body to manage the State’s shareholdings in semi-State companies in view of the secrecy that surrounds the working of the company and the current practice that NTMA staff do not have to adhere to the same pay scales, terms and conditions as the civil and public service. [28644/11]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Government decided to establish NewERA on a non-statutory basis as a Shareholder Executive within the NTMA. The NTMA has the necessary specialist skills to manage NewERA and its business model provides it with the flexibility to compete in the market to recruit additional specialist staff as required. The policy objective behind NewERA is to modernise the manner in which Government manages its shareholding in the semi-state companies and it will oversee the corporate governance from a shareholder perspective of the ESB, Bord Gáis, EirGrid, Bord na Mona and Coillte.
In this capacity, NewERA will have responsibility for reviewing the capital investment plans of these commercial semi-state companies and will identify possible synergies between the investment programmes of the different companies. Where requested by Government, it will also advise on, and if appropriate oversee, any restructuring or disposal of State companies. It will also work with Departments to develop and implement proposals for investment in line with NewERA Programme for Government commitments in energy, water and next-generation telecommunications.
Regarding publication of details of remuneration, the NTMA complies with the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies and publishes details of the remuneration of the Chief Executives of the NTMA, the NDFA and NAMA in the relevant annual reports. In addition, I have supplied information on salary bands and performance-related payments in the NTMA in response to Parliamentary Questions.
Furthermore, I have stated that the approach to remuneration in the NTMA will be examined in more detail in the coming months following consultation with my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. As part of this process, the views of the NTMA and the NTMA Advisory Committee will be taken into account. Following detailed examination of this matter, I will then see what changes, if any, might be appropriate in relation to the remuneration of all staff in the NTMA, having regard to the changing economic circumstances of the State and the need for transparency in public expenditure.
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