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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Are the Public Appontment Service and the Dept of Arts following new state board appointment guidelines?

A year after Minister Heather Humphreys abused her public office for party gain and got away with it, and 9 months after the Minister for Public Reform brought in new state board appointment guidelines in response, which said that the Department/Minister must consult with and use the Public Appointment Service (PAS) to interview potential candidates, is the Minister giving full information to the PAS?

The Public Appointment Service put out advertisement for applications for new Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) board members on 30/07/2015.

I hasn't noticed that the 5 year term the Chair of the board of IMMA Eoin Mcgonigal appointed on the 09/07/2010 had expired on the 08/07/2015 until the beginning of July. I then noticed that the board members list was out of date by 9 months

The membership.stateboards.ie was out of date. This is how it looked on 02/08/2015.

IMMA board members from IMMA website (also out of date).

I emailed the contact address on the membership.stateboards.ie website asking them to update the list of IMMA board members on 02/08/15.

They replied that it was up to the Department of Public Reform and Expenditure to update the list. I replied,

surely if you are putting out ads for replacements and mix of skills you know who is on the IMMA board at the moment?

On August 6th I got this reply.
As stated below, the information on our site is drawn from a database maintained by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform which we do not have access to. The names we have of the current members of the IMMA board is identical to the information on the stateboards website save for Julie O'Neill.

but Eoin McGonigal was still listed on the stateboards website even though his term had already expired by the time the PAS put out the ad.

Guidelines that may have been breached.

Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards pusblished by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, November 2014.

Guidelines that may have been breached under Section 10. Development of a specification for board role, page 5.

10.1 Where a new appointment will be necessary Departments should formally initiate the appointments process at least six months before the term of the current member expires by engaging with PAS to develop a detailed and comprehensive draft specification of the proposed Board role.
Certainly breached this one as between 3 and 7 vacancies existed including the chair.

10.2 The specification provided to PAS must set out key requirements for the board role(s) including:-
  • necessary skills, knowledge and expertise;
  • breadth of experience and required sectoral / stakeholder expertise;
  • other desirable qualifications;
  • range of skills of existing Board members(s)
  • diversity and other matters for considerations (e.g. geographical balance, international membership)
  • personal attributes
How could they be following the guideline 10.2, if the PAS didn't know who was on the board?
10.4 This specification will follow a detailed template for all State Board roles to be developed by PAS which sets out a clear format for the detail and quality of information provided in respect of each Board role.
How could they be following the guideline 10.4, if the PAS didn't know who was on the board?

10.5 The draft specification provided by the Department to PAS must also reflect the outcome of consultation with the current Chair of the Board. In this context, the Chair should advise the Department of the needs of the board for new skills, competencies or experience in order to ensure that it can effectively perform its role drawing from, for example, the Chair’s annual review of the Board’s effectiveness
How could they be following the guideline 10.5, if the PAS didn't know who was on the board?

10.6 The final specification for the Board positions must be agreed by the relevant Department with PAS on the basis of PAS’s assessment of any changes necessary to ensure that the specification is adequate to encourage the submission of expressions of interest and to be clearly identify a list of candidates for consideration by the Minister for the Board role.
How could they be following the guideline 10.6, if the PAS didn't know who was on the board?

Or perhaps the person replying to me didn't check with the PAS employee that actually engaged with the Dept of Arts?

PAS IMMA board Advertisement details, doesn't denote that a chair is being appointed.
Appointments to the Board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art

There are nine positions advertised, four current vacancies and five arising in January/February 2016.

I was confused as I only counted 3 current vacanices if the board was to be kept on 11, if not reduced to 9.

Board Member Numbers
According Memorandum of Articles and Association of the
Irish Museum of Modern Art Company
the number of directors is 15.

but the previous Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan had already said they would reduce the number from 15 to 9.

31/10/12 - Deenihan outlines reform actions for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht organisations

National Gallery of Ireland, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Crawford Art Gallery

The boards of the three institutions to be scaled back to a maximum of 9 members each, including the Chair (a reduction of the order of between 40 – 50 %).

IMMA board timeline

and the board had been kept at 9 members for over 2 years but now despite having said that the board would be reduced to 9 it will be now set at 12, see incredible spin the department PR person,

Having emailed the Department of Arts and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to ask was was currently on the board and getting no reply for whole week, I had to depend on political correspondent for Today FM Gavan Reilly to get me that answer.

Proposed Legislation
Legislation has been proposed by the government and the department to reform Cultural Institutions governance since atleast 2013 and most recently.

Government Legislative Programme Spring Summer 2015

Bills in respect of which heads have been agreed and texts are being drafted
Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Title of BillPurpose of BillStatus of Bill
43National Cultural Institutions (No. 1) BillTo revise and update the governance arrangements in regard to the National Gallery, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Crawford Art Gallery Cork, including shared servicesPublication Expected - Late 2015

Also clearly breached another guideline under Section 13. Appointment of Board Members,
13.5 It is expected that following the completion of the PAS process and the communication of the outcome of that process to the relevant Minister, that the appointment shall in normal circumstances be made in advance of the vacancy arising unless there are compelling reasons why this is not possible

Two board members terms including the chair had already expired by the time the PAS ads were published on the 30/07/2015.

The Stateboard website does have detailed quartely statistics on its front page, but what it doesn't tell you is whether it is meeting the timeline targets in guidelines 13.5 and 10.1. I combined Q1 and Q2 states here

The very board that causd her the trouble is incomplete and out of date Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). Update finally fixed 9 months later.

State Board membership lists that have Date Appointed: None
Notice that the Department of Arts has the most board members who's date of appointment is missing then any other department, (8th August).

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