Farm Ireland

Monday 20 November 2017

ICSA flag changes to decision making process

Martin Ryan

Radical proposals for changes to decision making and administration within the committee structure of the ICSA have been tabled by the organisation's national executive.

The need for measures to restrict the influence of "strong personalities" dominating internal discussions on policy issues and the enforcement of "collective responsibility" was stressed in the presentation to the group's national executive by the ICSA chief executive, Eddie Punch.

A copy of the presentation, which has been seen by the Farming Independent, outlined the necessity for a "dispute resolution process" to be put in place as a means of resolving difficulties between commodity committees, especially in reference to beef/sucklers.

It is also proposed that the group clearly defines the role of individual committees and how they interact with the national executive when it comes to decision making on overall policy.


The raft of proposals are being interpreted as a reaction by the association to opposition from some members of the organisation's beef committee to the ICSA's support for the controversial quality payment system (QPS) for cattle.

The document sets out as a key objective agreement on the relationship between the commodity committee, the policy committee and the national executive.

It also suggests that the role of the counties in putting forward issues for debate would be more clearly laid out and provide a guideline on "who can propose a motion" within the ICSA structure.

Also Read

The presentation also raised the issue of so called 'me fein' decision making and questioned whether a simple 51-49pc split was a satisfactory basis on which to decide critical policy matters.


The presentation paper also asked whether the organisation should put in place a "qualified or super-majority" requirement to ensure that only well-supported motions get out the door of the farm group's various committees.

Another alternative floated was the possible removal of decision making from the committee structure entirely, particularly for multi-sectoral issues.

In finding solutions to problems within the ICSA,the proposals have questioned if there should be "an institutionalised bi-lateral dispute resolution process on contentious issues".

A reassessment of the commodity committee structure was also referred to in the paper.

Irish Independent