05/07/2011

Appointees To Chairs Of State Boards Vetted For First Time

The recently appointed chairpersons to the board of four of Ireland’s most important agencies will be scrutinised by an Oireachtas Committee for the first time next week.

On Tuesday, 12 July, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht will question the recent appointees to the position of chairperson of CIE, Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Iarnród.

This is the first occasion on which an Oireachtas Committee will have the opportunity to assess the suitability of the nominations to chairs of State bodies. It will also enable Committee members to establish their plans for these agencies and put specific issues they may have regarding Ireland’s public transport system.

The appointees for the positions are: Chairperson of CIE - Vivienne Jupp;
 Chairperson of Dublin Bus - Kevin Bonner;
 Chairperson of Bus Éireann – Paul Mallee;
 Chairperson of Iarnród Éireann – Phil Gaffney.

Committee Chairman, Ciaran Lynch TD said: “This is a most welcome development and the Committee is looking forward to having a meaningful discussion with these individuals. For the first time, it will be an opportunity for elected public representatives to consider the suitability and capacity of those who have been appointed to oversee some of the State’s most influential bodies.

It will also provide an opportunity for appointees to present their capabilities for the role and to outline their vision for the future of these organisations.”

The Chairman added: “In the past, sometimes the impression has existed that chairmanships of such agencies was a closed shop and that no opportunity existed for proper scrutiny of the eligibility of candidates. It must be remembered that organisations such as CIE, Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Iarnórd Eireann are hugely significant in the everyday lives of millions of people. Therefore, I believe it is only proper that those charged with the substantial responsibility of managing their efficient supervision should prove their bona fides and competence in an open public forum.”

The selection process to fill these positions was a new departure. The process was broadened to include public advertisements in the media and on the Department’s website seeking expressions of interest. More than 270 expressions of interest were received, including two of the four appointees.

It also marks the start of a new era for CIE and its subsidiaries. It is putting in place a more traditional structure with a separate, non-executive Chairperson for each company.

(BMcN)


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