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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Minister for Public Reform Brendan Howlin's new stateboard guidelines continue to be ignored by Ministers

On the November 25th 2014 Minister for Public Reform Brendan Howlin publishes State Board Guidelines. Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards.

The portal will contain definitive, current information on all statutory boards.

Guidelines 19. Database of State Boards
The Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards say
19.2 To assist in the maintenance of this database and to ensure that it contains up-to-date information all Departments are required to notify all appointments to State Boards (including ex officio positions) to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform at the time of appointment.
The updating of the stateboard membership website is getting quicker and more complete but it is still not definitive.

Guidelines 13. Appointment of Board Members
13.6 At the time of the appointment of new members of State Boards, information shall be published by the relevant Department, for example in the press release announcing the new member(s), on the specific reasons the person(s) appointed meet the criteria determined by the relevant Minister for the role.
how soon is that? I asked the DPER and they wouldn't give a specific time period in which Minister have to announce appointments and give reasons.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has been since atleast 2011 prompt in in updating a document state boards on its website but the Minister is neglecting to announce and give reasons for the appointments.

Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) board timeline

3 new people appointed to the board of national public transport provider CIE in July, It took between 57 and 74 days to be given an indication of the reasons why these people were appointed as per the guidelines. CIE board overseas the national and local public train and bus companies.

Iris Oifigiuil Published by Authority Tuesday, 14th July, 2015
In accordance with Section 6 of the Transport Act 1950 as amended, the Government today appointed
(1) Ms Christine Moran
to the Board of Córas Iompair Éireann, as a member for a period of 3 years, with immediate effect; and

(2) MS Niamh Walsh
Mr. Ruairí O’Flynn
to the Board of Córas Iompair Éireann as members for a period of 3 years, with effect from 24th July 2015.

Ard-Rúnaí an Rialtais
An 7ú lá seo de d’Iúil, 2015.
This 7th day of July, 2015.
Christine Moran "Experienced Non-Executive Director .Certified Bank Director & Qualified Chartered Accountant"

Ruairí O'Flynn "Chairman, Director, Experienced CEO"

One can try to search yourself but Niamh Walsh is too common a name to figure out who it is, ultimately Department needs to tell us who these people are.

I asked DTTAS and they replied saying they wre busy with the merger of the NRA and NPA to become the TII, but surely this information should be to hand.

I emailed CIE and month after she was appointed the CIE added the names to its Board member biographies page ,with the message, "Recently appointed - biography coming soon"

CIE board members are appointed by the government rather then the Minister Transport Act, 1950 Section 6 but the guidelines would apply to them too surely?

Finally after 2 months in September the CIE Board bios were updated but still no public annoucement from the Minister on the Departments of Transports website

NTA board Timeline

6 NTA appointments were added to updated the DTTAS state board appointment document on the 5th of October.
Pat Mangan
Frank O'Connor
Sinéad Walsh
Frank Gleeson
Fiona Ross
Ann Fitzgerald
No announcement with reasons/bios as is required by the state board guideline 13.6.

The issue was highlighted by online newspaper Dublin Inquirer who contacted the Minister didn't get any further then me, but explained it a little more fully. Who’s on the Board of the National Transport Authority? Willy Simon October 13, 2015

Here’s Who’s on the Board of the National Transport Authority Lois Kapila October 20, 2015

The NTA emailed the details to the newspaper 15 October and updated their National Transport Board page with the bios of the new board members around the 20th but still no annoucement from the Minister on the Departments of Transports website.

These new guidelines brought in after the clear abuse of Ministerial office for party gain by Minister Humphreys can be ignored with impunity. The Public Appointment Service is more invovled in selecting candidates but can also be evaded.

Irish Ofiguil
Iris Oifiguil Irish state gazette has the official public announcement of state board appointments.
Although in not clear what determines which stateboard appointments are announced in it and which are not.

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