First Previous (PART 3 The Board of the Health Service Executive) Next (PART 5 Employees and Advisers)

42 2004

Health Act 2004

PART 4

Chief Executive Officer

Appointment of chief executive officer.

17.— (1) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the appointed members of the Board shall appoint a person recruited in accordance with the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 to be the chief executive officer of the Executive.

(2) A person is not eligible for appointment as the chief executive officer if the person is—

(a) a member of either House of the Oireachtas or of the European Parliament,

(b) regarded, pursuant to section 19 of the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 , as having been elected to the European Parliament to fill a vacancy, or

(c) a member of a local authority.

(3) The Minister shall, on the recommendation of the Board, appoint a person to be the first chief executive officer of the Executive.

(4) Pending the appointment of the first chief executive officer, the Minister may, on the recommendation of the Board of the Interim Health Service Executive, appoint a person to be the interim chief executive officer.

(5) A person appointed as chief executive officer holds office on the terms and conditions (including terms and conditions relating to remuneration, allowances and superannuation) that—

(a) in the case of the interim chief executive officer, have been determined by the Interim Health Service Executive with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Finance, and

(b) in any other case, may be determined by the appointed members of the Board of the Executive with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

(6) The remuneration and allowances determined under subsection (5) are payable to the chief executive officer by the Executive out of funds at its disposal.

(7) The chief executive officer is suspended from office as a member of the Board during any period of suspension or secondment from his or her position as chief executive officer.

Functions of chief executive officer and their performance by deputy.

18.— (1) The chief executive officer shall—

(a) carry on and manage and control generally the administration and business of the Executive,

(b) perform such other functions as may be assigned to that officer by or under this Act or other enactment or as may be delegated to him or her by the Board, and

(c) supply the Board with such information (including financial information) relating to the performance of his or her functions as the Board may require.

(2) The chief executive officer is responsible to the Board for the performance of his or her functions and the implementation of the Board's policies.

(3) If the chief executive officer is absent or the position of chief executive officer is vacant, the functions of the chief executive officer under this section may be performed by such employee of the Executive as may be appointed by the Board from time to time to act as deputy chief executive officer.

(4) For the purpose of subsection (3), references in a provision of this Act or another enactment that assigns functions to the chief executive officer or that regulates the manner in which a function assigned to the chief executive officer is to be performed are to be read as references to the employee appointed under this section as deputy chief executive officer.

Delegation of functions.

19.— (1) Subject to any directions that may be issued by the Board, the chief executive officer may in writing—

(a) delegate any of his or her functions under section 18 (including those relating to financial matters) to employees of the Executive specified by name, position or otherwise, and

(b) authorise the subdelegation of any or all delegated functions to or by other such employees.

(2) Any function delegated or subdelegated under this section to an employee is to be performed by the employee under the general direction and control of the chief executive officer and in compliance with such directions, limitations and guidelines as may be specified by—

(a) in the case of a delegated function, the chief executive officer, or

(b) in the case of a subdelegated function, the employee who subdelegated that function.

(3) The delegation or subdelegation of a function does not preclude the person who for the time being holds the position of chief executive officer from performing the function.

(4) The chief executive officer may—

(a) vary any delegation of a function under this section, including by modifying the geographical area to which the delegation relates,

(b) revoke such delegation, or

(c) without revoking the delegation, revoke any subdelegation of the function.

(5) On varying or revoking the delegation or subdelegation of a function, the chief executive officer shall inform each employee to whom the function was delegated or subdelegated of its variation or revocation.

(6) An employee of the Executive who subdelegates a function delegated or subdelegated to the employee under this section—

(a) may vary the subdelegation, including by modifying the geographical area to which it relates,

(b) may revoke the subdelegation, and

(c) is not precluded from performing the function.

(7) On varying or revoking the subdelegation of a function, the employee who subdelegated the function shall inform each employee to whom the function was subdelegated of its variation or revocation.

Chief executive officer to be accounting officer.

20.— The chief executive officer is the accounting officer in relation to the appropriation accounts of the Executive for the purposes of the Comptroller and Auditor General Acts 1866 to 1998.

Attendance of chief executive officer before Oireachtas Committees.

21.— (1) Subject to subsection (2), the chief executive officer shall, at the written request of an Oireachtas Committee, attend before it to give an account of the general administration of the Executive.

(2) The chief executive officer is not required to give an account before an Oireachtas Committee of any matter relating to the general administration of the Executive that is, or is likely to be, the subject of proceedings before a court or tribunal in the State.

(3) The chief executive officer shall, if of the opinion that subsection (2) applies to a matter about which that officer is requested to give an account before an Oireachtas Committee, inform the Committee of that opinion and the reasons for the opinion.

(4) The information required under subsection (3) to be given to the Oireachtas Committee must be given in writing unless it is given when the chief executive officer is before the Committee.

(5) If, on being informed of the chief executive officer's opinion about the matter, the Oireachtas Committee decides not to withdraw its request, the High Court may, on application under subsection (6), determine whether subsection (2) applies to the matter.

(6) An application for a determination under subsection (5) may be made in a summary manner to the High Court by—

(a) the chief executive officer not later than 21 days after being informed by the Oireachtas Committee of its decision not to withdraw its request, or

(b) the chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee acting on its behalf.

(7) Pending the determination of an application under subsection (6), the chief executive officer shall not attend before the Oireachtas Committee to give an account of the matter to which the application relates.

(8) If the High Court determines that subsection (2) applies to the matter, the Oireachtas Committee shall withdraw its request relating to the matter, but if the High Court determines that subsection (2) does not apply, the chief executive officer shall attend before the Committee to give an account of the matter.

(9) In carrying out duties under this section, the chief executive officer shall not question or express an opinion on the merits of any policy of the Government or a Minister of the Government or on the merits of the objectives of such a policy.

(10) With the permission of the chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee making the request under subsection (1), either—

(a) the chairperson of the Board, or

(b) an employee of the Executive nominated by the chief executive officer,

may attend before the Committee in place of the chief executive officer to give an account of the general administration of the Executive, and in that case a reference in subsections (2) to (9) to the chief executive officer is to be read as a reference to the person attending in his or her place.

(11) In this section “Oireachtas Committee” means—

(a) a committee appointed by either House of the Oireachtas or jointly by both Houses of the Oireachtas (other than the Committee of Public Accounts, the Committee on Members' Interests of Dáil Éireann or the Committee on Members' Interests of Seanad Éireann), or

(b) a subcommittee of a committee as defined in paragraph (a).