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Overhaul for Fas board

The Government has changed the governing structure of Fas and promised a complete overhaul of the scandal-hit state training body.

The legislation sees the board reduced from 17 to 11 members, and will provide for tougher accountability and governance controls for top brass, including protection for whistleblowers.

Mary Coughlan, Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, confirmed that she had signed the commencement order bringing into force the Labour Services (Amendment) Act 2009.

This law makes the director general of Fas accountable to the Oireachtas.

Fas has been rocked by revelations about the scale of expenses claims for foreign travel made by its former executives, and the millions of euro wasted on advertising and promotion.

Ms Coughlan confirmed yesterday that the new Fas board would be chaired by an experienced businessman, Michael Dempsey, a former senior director of biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb.


The previous board chair Peter McLoone stepped down following the controversy.

Ms Coughlan said she wanted a "dynamic" board which would help Fas tackle the huge problem of unemployment.

"Effective governance is fundamental to the effective delivery of services," she said.