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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Seanad Bye-election John McNulty's IMMA appointment correspondence

Some more Freedom of Information files were released relating to the appointment of John McNulty to the board of the Irish Museum of modern art shortly before that position was used as qualification for nomination to the Senate. Following on from the IMMA correspondence that Katie Hannon for RTE Primetime got via FOI.

John McNulty said on Highland Radio that he met Enda Kenny around the 4th September.

John McNulty got IMMA post within two days of request Harry McGee 29th of October 2014.

A memo from the 10th on the cultural board vacancies listed 6 on the IMMA board even though the department had promised to limit it to 9, and 9 positions were occupied.

National Gallery of Ireland, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Crawford Art Gallery
• The boards of the three institutions to be scaled back to a maximum of 9 members each, including the Chair (a reduction of the order of between 40 – 50 %).

Fionnan Sheahan on RTE DriveTime 26 September at 19m. Relays the timeline issues, IMMA appointment on Friday 12th, Saturday 13th Fine Gael executive council met in Galway, the rest of Fine Gael told on the 17th of September.



We still don't know who was on the 5 member executive council Seanad sub-committee who were said at the time to have been overruled by Enda Kenny and his party officials. Or were they perhaps they knew about it all, they haven't said otherwise.

Here is John McNulty’s handwritten note accepting his controversial state board appointment TheJournal.ie Hugh O'Connell 29th October 2014.

He wrote a note of acceptance on the 15th of September and sent an email of same to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on the 16th.

I was told that John McNulty was appointed as soon as the minister deemed him to be on 12th, so his acceptance on the 15th immaterial, he had already agreed to be put on the board at some point before the 12th.

It was late on the 17th of September Fionnan Sheahan revealed his name as the nominee for the Seanad Businessman who lost council election to run for the Seanad Independent.ie

Read my previous Seanad Bye-election posts for the rest of the story.

Liz O'Donnell appointed chair of Road Safety Authority



The Road Safety Authority 'is a state agency formed by the Irish Government to promote road safety'.

Minister Donohoe appoints Ms. Liz O’Donnell as Chairperson Designate of the Road Safety Authority Wednesday 29th October 2014.

Minister Donohoe appoints Ms Liz O’Donnell as Chairperson Designate of the Road Safety Authority RTE.ie

“This appointment is being made in advance of the introduction of new procedures for State Board appointments, in view of the urgent need to fill the vacant post which is crucial to our efforts to combat road deaths.

The Department of Transport previously under Leo Varadkar boasted as being the most transparent listing all its board members and advertising vacancies State board membership and approved fees that all goes out the window now again.

Liz O'Donnell
Liz O'Donnell former Councillor, TD and deputy leader of the Progressive Democrats and Minister of State for Overseas Development Assistance and Human Rights, a graduate of TCD Law School, and 'Prior to embarking on a political career, O'Donnell was a Vice Chair of the Women's Political Association and a delegate to the National Women's Council' according to her website bio.

On Liz O'Donnell wesbsite Public Figure.
As an advocate of Diversity, in particular, an increased role for women in politics and business, and a member of the Board Diversity Initiative, Liz is always seeking improvements in achieving gender diversity on boards in Ireland.
She is a supporter of Women for Election which has been established to support and mentor aspiring female politicians. She believes our democracy is unfinished while so few women are elected to the Dáil and supports the legislation recently introduced for gender quotas to compel Irish political parties to ensure at least 30 % of candidates are women. In business she strongly supports targets to improve board representation of women in Ireland on PLCs which currently stands at 9%, while the EU figure is 14%.

So media people saying she's not a crony because she doesn't happen to be a member of the current government parties, but she's still one of them.

O’Donnell a seasoned media performer free from links to Coalition

Is PR experience the only criteria for chairperson of the Road Safety Authority?

Committee hearing
She'll have to go in front of the Oireachtas Transport Committee but its a fait accompli the committee cannot block somebody the Minister appoints.

As I noted when looking at previous promises regarding state appointments Enda Kenny told the Dail in 2011,
The Deputy asked if the committee could block somebody’s appointment. I made this clear before; if a proposed person nominated either by a Minister or by the Government really falls [3]down in making his or her presentation to the relevant committee, obviously the Government or the Minister would need to take that into account, but it is not a function of the committees — they are not blocking committees. It is an opportunity for the proposed person and the committee to discuss the policy issues in respect of the organisation, agency or body concerned.
Gay Byrne Transport Committee Discussion with the RSA in 2011.

Liz O'Donnell announced as next RSA Chairperson - RTÉ News

Was this position advertised, what are the criteria or skills required?

Road Safety Authority chair criteria

Road Safety Authority Chair criteria

The Chairperson of the Road Safety Authority is expected to;

• Have a high profile, independent and critical role in the development of the road safety agenda and in contributing the reduction of deaths and injuries on our roads.

• Drive the achievement of the Government’s Road Safety Strategy (2013-2020) which consists of 144 measures aimed at improving road safety and reducing fatalities and injuries.

• Provide advice to the Minister for Transport on the broad road safety agenda. This is expected to include the development of proposals for regulatory or other reform.

• Guide the RSA as it moves into a new era as a self-funding body with an increasingly commercial focus while ensuring that the road safety message is not lost in the expansion of its service delivery mandate.

• Get the road safety message across to the general public.

To achieve this, the Chair must have media experience and an ability to communicate effectively while also having commercial experience and a keen knowledge of the policy making process. Ms O’Donnell possesses all of these qualities.

Did Gay Byrne have a keen knowledge of the policy making process? or do they pick the person and then write the criteria? the Heather Humphreys model.

Not every chair will have the same skills, but we still lack a stated list of skills and experience for the chair of the Road Safety Authority the above two lines response is not enough.

The Institute of Directors advise a skills matrix to be drawn up for each board.
This matrix would allow the board to identify any gaps which exist and that these gaps would then be filled when vacancies arise

Gay Byrne
The government knew Gay Byrne was going to step down early, when they re-appointed him, he told them he'd only serve another three years, so why couldn't they do the appointment process properly?

Gay Byrne to step down as Chairman of Road Safety Authority after eight years in the job at 50 secs.

The department of Transport lists vacany as being since mid September. Road Safety Authority Chairperson vacancy since 14/09/2014.

Ms O’Donnell expressed an interest in serving on a State Board via the Board Diversity Initiative. Established in 2010, the Board Diversity Initiative provides a bridge between boards and women candidates.
merrionstreet.ie announcement.

Road Safety Authority Board

List of Members of Transport boards one of the most detailed list of any department but still in pdf so I had to use ScraperWiki's PDF Table Extractor.

Road Saftey Authority board biographys
NAMEROLEDATE OF APPOINTMENTDATE OF EXPIRYDESCRIPTIONPARTY
Dr Aine CarrollMember14/09/201113/09/2016Rehabilitation
Mr Edward RockMember14/09/201113/09/2016Former Gardai
Mr Sean FinanMember14/09/201113/09/2016Civil EngineerFine Gael
Mr Ronan MelvinMember14/09/201113/09/2016AccountantFine Gael
Mr John MulvihillMember14/10/201313/10/2017Former PoliticianFormer Labour
Ms Aideen CarberryMember09/09/201308/09/2017Trade UnionLabour
VacancyChairpersonN/A14/09/2014
VacancyMemberN/A
VacancyMemberN/A
VacancyMemberN/A
VacancyMemberN/A

Why so many vacancies at the moment. Searching for more details and gathering on here

RSA board Timeline


I can only find 2 members who are said to have joined the board following a public advertisement, Edward Rock and Ronan Melvin.

Road Safety Authority Act 2006 Section 14

Membership of Board of Authority and term of office of members.
14.—
(1) There shall be a Board of the Authority.

(2) Members of the Board shall be appointed by the Minister.

(3) The Board shall consist of a chairperson and not less than 6 and not more than 11 ordinary members.

(4) Each member of the Board shall be a person who in the opinion of the Minister has wide experience and competence in relation to roads, road safety, transport, driver education and examination, industrial and commercial matters, local government, the organisation of workers or administration.

The number of party insiders appointed to the RSA was noted at the time by Paul Cullen Coalition puts party insiders on State boards November 14, 2011.

Were these other vacant positions advertised for? Haven't found the advertisement yet.

Department of Transport
Speech by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar February 2014 includes section on appointments to state boards.

Appointment to state boards 2011 - 2014 Department of Transport.

In reply about appopintment to state boards generally, the Minister for Transport said he doesn't always use a public advertisment but when he does,
In every case where expressions of interest are concerned, I give close consideration to individuals who I consider appropriate to promoting good governance at board level, and with experience or qualifications in finance (including audit capability and/or project assessment), law, corporate governance, marketing, IT, or with experience relevant to the transport, tourism and sports sectors.

Looking for calls and ads for expressions of interest for chair and Board members for the Department of Transport.

Minister Varadkar advertises for Board members for CIE and agencies 08 - 04 - 2011 More than 270 expressions of interest were received, including two of the four appointees.

Minister Varadkar confirms four new CIE Chairpersons June 2011

Board Diversity Initiative
Ms O’Donnell expressed an interest in serving on a State Board via the Board Diversity Initiative. Established in 2010, the Board Diversity Initiative provides a bridge between boards and women candidates. Since the launch of the initiative, more than 30 women on the panel have been appointed to Irish boards. The panel currently profiles 85 qualified and experienced women who are interested in serving on boards. The 3rd version of the list will be available by the end of 2014.

Very little information on this, other then it was co-founded by Vivienne
Jupp
Chair of CIE
Confounded by Management Consultant Anne-Marie Taylor

Where is the first and second version of this list?

Carol Bolger is also a member.