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FG breaks promise to alter board members

THE Government last night admitted it can't remove people from State boards -- despite a Fine Gael pre-election pledge to ask board members to resign within six months.

A Government spokesman could not say if members would still be asked to resign. It means current boards will stay as they are, and appointments made in the dying days of the last government will not be changed.

New procedures for appointing people to boards were agreed by the Cabinet yesterday, and all positions will be now advertised.

But the minister will not be "confined to the talent pool" that comes out of the responses to the advertised position.

When it comes to appointing chairs of State boards, a new process will see the Government send its preferred candidate before an Oireachtas committee to be questioned by TDs and senators.

But the committees will not have a veto on the appointments and the final decisions will still rest with the Government.