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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Seanad Bye-Election 10th October 2014 Results and Reforms. Could it still happen again?

Gerard Craughwell won. No official results yet and I was doing something else at the time of the count so depending on Gavan Reilly, Mary Minihan and Sarah Bardon for results.

My thoughts on the promised reforms below.

Results
Official count and results published on the seandcount.ie page on 16th of Ocotober 2014.
Seanad √Čireann Bye Election Count, 10th October 2014 Cultural and Education Panel.











Trying to work out how many possible Fine Gael and Labour votes Gerard Craughwell got and other stats.

On Highland News interview with John McNulty he thanks people for not voting for him, yet 84 did.

Highland News interviewed Dinny McGinley TD for Fine Gael and recent and Minister for State for the Gaeltacht at the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Dinny McGinley says board places will be now publically advertised, as I wrote that practice has been in place since 2011 and didn't address the problem of the unchecked Ministerial power to appoint.

New reforms, but could it still happen?

Howlin Announces Revised Model for Ministerial Appointments to State Boards
requiring that all appointments to vacancies on State Boards must:

1. be advertised openly on the State Boards portal www.stateboards.ie operated by the Public Appointments Service (PAS)

2. meet specific and detailed criteria determined by the relevant Minister as necessary for the effective performance of the relevant role; and

3. be processed by way of a transparent assessment system designed and implemented by the independent Public Appointments Service (PAS) to support the relevant Minister in making appointments to State Boards under his/her remit.

Will the future reforms tackle the problem? Im not sure how tightly integrated public appointments service reform will be, the Minister will still have the power to ignore it as far as I can see.

1
be advertised openly on the State Boards portal www.stateboards.ie operated by the Public Appointments Service (PAS)

There was a wide call of "expressions of interest in future vacancies for Board members" in June for a number of cultural institutions boards in 2013, which covered presuambly was for the two board members who full terms would expire in the next year.

Were the department putting out scatter gun call for expressions of interest for vacancies on state board just to be able to say that they did.

"vacancies will occur in the coming 12 months".

2
meet specific and detailed criteria determined by the relevant Minister

Minister Humphreys said stated her criteria and found that John McNulty met them, after he was appointed. A minister can always meet criteria determined by herself.

3
be processed by way of a transparent assessment system designed and implemented by the independent Public Appointments Service (PAS) to support the relevant Minister in making appointments to State Boards under his/her remit

Note the PAS role is only to 'support the Minister' she can ignore it, it seems the only hope is this will mean Ministers may not be able to act so quickly and there will more people involved and steps in the process and its this that will stop the corruption, I await the details of this, but Minister will still have the power ignore this process entirely, as far as I can see.

There is no mention in the new rules about consulting the relevant organisation's leadership or board, it should be includeded as we now know that Humphreys didn't consult IMMA before making these appointments. See Sunday Times 5th October article. "IMMA not told about McNulty" - Colin Coyle. The article also tell us how Eoin McGonigal chairman of the board wanted a person with "high-level business contacts" to encourage fund raising.

Amazingly news anchor Ray Kennedy for RTE Nine News 10th October introduced Gerard Craughwell winning by suggest he has an unfair advantage because of the controversy, when it was the government who gave an unfair advantage to McNulty to get him qualified and nominated.

On the other hand Richard Crowley continued to ask the right questions when interviewing Terence Slowey on RTE Radio News at One, asking where John McNulty's own political antennae was when he was being appointed to IMMA board and used it as his nomination qualification.

Heather Humphreys set out my priorities as Minister for Arts.
The proposals also provide for a range of operational reform measures, including shared services, governance reform, reduced board sizes and enhanced processes for board appointments.

She already broken two of those priorities before she made the speech.

Members of the 24th Seanad.

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