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25 2003

Taxi Regulation Act 2003

PART 4

Advisory Council to Commission for Taxi Regulation

Appointed Day.

53. —The Minister shall by order appoint a day to be the appointed day for the purposes of this Part.

Establishment and membership of Advisory Council.

54. —(1) There stands established, on the appointed day, a body to be known as the Advisory Council to the Commission for Taxi Regulation or in the Irish language, An Chomhairle don Choimisiún um Rialáil Tacsaithe and in this Act referred to as the “Council”, to perform the functions assigned to it under this Part.

(2) The Council shall consist of a chairperson and 17 ordinary members.

(3)    (a) The Minister shall appoint a person to be the chairperson of the Council who, in the opinion of the Minister, has appropriate experience and expertise and is sufficiently independent from small public service vehicle operations and the Commission.

(b) An appointment under paragraph (a) shall be for such period not exceeding 3 years as may be specified by the Minister when appointing the person and shall be on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

(c) The chairperson shall chair the meetings of the Council.

(d) In the event of the chairperson being unable to attend a meeting of the Council, the members who are present shall choose one of their number to chair the meeting.

(e) In the event of the office of chairperson being vacant, the Minister shall designate one of the members of the Council to chair its meetings until a chairperson is appointed.

(4) In addition to the chairperson appointed under subsection (3), members of the Council shall comprise:

(a) at least 4 persons representing small public service vehicle and driver interests;

(b) at least one person representing local authorities;

(c) at least one person representing the Garda Síochána;

(d) at least 2 persons who in the opinion of the Minister represent the interests of consumers;

(e) at least one person from an organisation representing the interests of persons with disabilities;

(f) at least one person who in the opinion of the Minister represents the interests of business;

(g) at least one person who in the opinion of the Minister represents the interests of tourism; and

(h) at least 4 other persons, who, in the opinion of the Minister, have a special interest or expertise in matters relating to the functions of the Commission, the Council or matters related thereto.

(5) An organisation or person may, at its own initiative or at the request of the Minister, nominate a person to be a member of the Council and the Minister in making an appointment under subsection (6), shall have regard, in so far as is practicable, to any nominations received by him or her under this subsection.

(6) The Minister shall appoint persons to be ordinary members of the Council in accordance with subsection (4). An appointment under this subsection shall be for such period not exceeding 3 years as may be specified by the Minister when appointing persons and shall be on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

(7) The chairperson and ordinary members of the Council may be paid, out of monies at the disposal of the Commission, such allowances for expenses as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may determine.

(8) A person whose term of office expires by the effluxion of time shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(9) In appointing the chairperson and ordinary members of the Council, the Minister shall insofar as is practicable ensure—

(a) an equitable gender balance between men and women, and

(b) both urban and rural representation,

in the composition of the Council.

(10) An officer of the Minister who is an established civil servant for the purposes of the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 and a Commissioner or a member of the staff of the Commission may attend and be heard at meetings of the Council but shall not be eligible to vote on any issue.

(11) The Commission shall provide all reasonable facilities and services as may be required by the Council for the carrying out of its functions.

(12) The Council may act notwithstanding a vacancy or vacancies in its membership.

(13) The Council may regulate, by standing orders or otherwise, its procedure and business.

(14) The Minister shall fix the date, time and place of the first meeting of the Council and the members of the Council shall decide on the frequency of all further meetings, subject to the Council meeting at least once each year.

(15) The chairperson or ordinary members of the Council may resign from office by letter addressed to the Minister.

(16) The Minister may remove from office the chairperson or an ordinary member of the Council in the following circumstances:

(a) where, in the opinion of the Minister, he or she has become incapable through ill-health of effectively performing his or her duties,

(b) for stated misbehaviour,

(c) in the case of a person appointed to represent an organisation or interest under subsection (4), where the person is no longer such a representative, or

(d) where his or her removal appears to the Minister to be necessary or desirable for the effective performance by the Council of its functions.

(17) The Minister may, after consultation with the Council, make regulations on any matter which the Minister considers expedient for the purposes of this section.

Functions of Council.

55. —(1) It shall be the duty generally of the Council to advise the Commission or the Minister, as appropriate, in relation to issues relevant to small public service vehicles and their drivers.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Council may provide advice from time to time—

(a) to the Commission in relation to—

(i) proposals for regulations, standards, codes of practice in relation to small public service vehicles and their drivers submitted by the Commission to the Council for advice,

(ii) matters relating to the delivery of quality services by small public service vehicles and their drivers,

(iii) the preparation and review of the Commission strategy statement, and

(iv) any other matters related to the functions of the Commission or which the Commission submits to the Council for advice, other than matters related to decisions of the Commission in individual cases,

(b) to the Minister in relation to—

(i) policy relevant to small public service vehicles and their drivers,

(ii) proposals for legislation or regulations in relation to small public service vehicles and their drivers submitted by the Minister to the Council for advice,

(iii) the assignment of specific functions relating to small public service vehicles and their drivers to the Commission, and

(iv) any other matter which, in the opinion of the Council, is relevant to the effective performance by the Council or by the Commission of its functions or which the Minister submits to the Council for advice.

(3) The Commission or the Minister, as appropriate, may consider the advice of the Council given under this section but shall not be bound to act on it.

(4) The Commission may consult with or seek the advice of the Council on any matter relating to small public service vehicles and their drivers or to the effective performance by the Commission of its functions.

(5) The Minister may consult with or seek the advice of the Council on any matter arising in relation to his or her functions with respect to small public service vehicles and their drivers.

(6) Where the advice of the Council is sought by the Commission or the Minister under this Act, neither body shall be required to await the receipt of such advice of the Council before exercising its functions under this Act, once a reasonable period to facilitate the giving of such advice has elapsed.

(7) The Council shall be entitled to be informed at its meetings about the work of the Commission provided that disclosure of such information shall not be in breach of section 21 .

(8) (a) The chairperson or ordinary members of the Council shall not disclose confidential information obtained by him or her as a member of the Council.

(b) In this subsection “confidential information” includes information that is expressed by the Commission or the Minister to be confidential either as regards particular information or as regards information of a particular class or description.

(9) A person who fails to comply with subsection (8) is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000.

(10) Proceedings for an offence under subsection (9) may be brought and prosecuted summarily by the Commission.