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Friday 24 February 2017

New legislation does not tally with grand plans

The centrepiece of the Green Party's plan in 2007 was that every person who wanted to become a member of a state board would be checked by the Public Appointments Commission.

The Government would have the right to nominate its candidates, but the final say on who would be appointed would be given to a cross-party Oireachtas vetting committee.

But this is very different to the new legislation promised in the revised Programme for Government. It will allow members of the public to apply to join state boards and a panel of "suitable" people will be created.

An Oireachtas committee will be allowed to nominate people to the panel, but ministers will still have the power to appoint a number of their own people to state boards.

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan has already used the new process to appoint board members to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland -- with five being chosen by him and four being chosen by the Oireachtas Communications Committee.

Green Party senator Dan Boyle said his party was committed to reforming the public appointments system. "Public appointments have to change and it's inevitable that they will," he said.

Irish Independent

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