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New Regime for State Board Appointments will Create Level Playing Field but Full Implementation is Critical

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The Institute of Directors in Ireland (IoD) has today broadly welcomed the publication of the guidelines concerning appointments to State boards but has called on the Government, Ministers and senior officials to ensure that there is full commitment to the new one-stop-shop process of appointment and that all State board vacancies are advertised and processed through www.stateboards.ie.

Maura Quinn, Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, said

The IoD has long been critical of the existing appointment process to State boards and has repeatedly made a series of recommendations on reform. The changes announced today have been a long time coming and we are pleased that the Government has recognised the need to create transparency and fairness in the system. However, the onus will be on both the current and future governments to stringently adhere to the revised model

Key to the effectiveness of www.stateboards.ie, which operates under the auspices of the Public Appointments Service, will be ensuring that it is adequately resourced to deal with the volume of State board applications and that it is appropriately supported in that task. “In the interests of enhancing the selection and appointment process, we believe that an independent and expert panel should be formed, which would provide assistance to the Public Appointments Service, on a pro bono basis, in considering applications and shortlisting suitable candidates against the skills criteria of each State board,” said Maura Quinn.

The enhanced role for chairpersons of State boards in determining board requirements is to be welcomed, however, the IoD is concerned about the level of exceptions regarding appointments detailed within the guidelines and would urge the Government to consider the potential impact on transparency of such exceptions, which should be kept to a minimum.

Maura Quinn added:

Transparency and fairness in the appointment process to State boards will help to build confidence in what has, up to now, been a flawed and discredited system and we welcome the Government’s commitment to review these guidelines within 18 months to gauge their effectiveness.
“Appointments to State boards should always be made on the basis of merit and candidates having the skills required by the board. Such an approach creates a clear and consistent rationale behind the appointment of every board member and puts the needs of the board above all else