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Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004
Preliminary and General
1.— This Act may be cited as the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 .
2.— (1) In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—
“appointment” means the appointment of a person to a position within the Civil Service, a local authority, a health board, a vocational education committee, the Garda Síochána, or such other body as may be prescribed by order under section 6 ;
“Board” means the Board of the Public Appointments Service established by section 36 ;
“Chief Executive of the Service” has the meaning given in section 39 (1);
“civil servant” has the meaning it has in the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 ;
“Civil Service” means the Civil Service of the Government and the Civil Service of the State;
“code of practice” means the instructions and guidelines issued by the Commission under section 23 ;
“Commission” means the Commission for Public Service Appointments established by section 11 ;
“commissioners” means the members of the Commission as referred to in section 12 ;
“Director” means the Director of the Office of the Commission for Public Service Appointments;
“employment agency” means a person who, whether for profit or otherwise, provides services related to either or both of the following:
(a) finding employment for prospective employees,
(b) identifying potential employees for employers;
“established position” means a position in which there is rendered established service;
“established service” means service in a capacity in respect of which a superannuation allowance may be granted under the Superannuation Acts 1834 to 1963 and the Superannuation and Pensions Act 1976 ;
“establishment day” means the day appointed by order under section 3 —
(a) in relation to the Commission or the Office of the Commission, to be the establishment day for the Commission for the purposes of section 11 , and
(b) in relation to the Public Appointments Service, to be the establishment day of the Public Appointments Service for the purposes of section 33 ;
“functions” includes powers and duties, and references to the performance of functions include, as respects powers and duties, references to the exercise of the powers and the carrying out of the duties;
“health board” means—
(a) a health board established under the Health Act 1970 ,
(b) the Eastern Regional Health Authority, or
(c) an Area Health Board established under the Health (Eastern Regional Health Authority) Act 1999 ;
“licence holder” means a person to whom a recruitment licence has been granted under section 43 and includes a person to whom section 45 (2) relates;
“listed recruitment agency” means a recruitment agency included in the list of recruitment agencies under section 25 ;
“local authority” means a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2001 ;
“Minister” means the Minister for Finance;
“Office of the Commission” means the Office of the Commission for Public Service Appointments;
“office holder”, in relation to a person who can hold a recruitment licence, means a person to whom section 44 relates;
“officer of the Houses of the Oireachtas” means—
(a) the Clerk or Clerk-Assistant of Dáil Éireann,
(b) the Clerk or Clerk-Assistant of Seanad Éireann,
(c) the Superintendent, Houses of the Oireachtas, or
(d) the Captain of the Guard, Houses of the Oireachtas;
“public service body” means—
(a) the Civil Service,
(b) the Garda Síochána,
(c) a local authority,
(d) a health board,
(e) a vocational education committee, and
(f) such other body or bodies as may be prescribed by the Minister by order under section 6 in accordance with that section;
and reference to “public service” shall be read accordingly;
“recruitment licence” has the meaning given in section 44 ;
“relevant Minister” means—
(a) in relation to the exercise by a Minister of the Government of any powers, functions or duties vested in him or her by virtue of any enactment, that Minister, and
(b) in relation to the administration and business of the public service by virtue of any enactment by a Minister of the Government or a Department of State in respect of a public service body, the Minister of the Government concerned or the Minister having charge of the Department concerned;
“scheduled occupation” has the meaning given in section 7 (3)(a);
“unestablished position” means a position that is not an established position, and includes a position that is held on a temporary basis or for a definite limited period;
“vocational education committee” means a vocational education committee established under section 7 of the Vocational Education Act 1930 .
(2) In this Act—
(a) a reference to a section is a reference to a section of this Act,
(b) a reference to a schedule is a reference to a schedule to this Act, and
(c) a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is a reference to the subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs,
unless it is indicated that a reference to some other provision is intended.
(3) A reference to another enactment is to that enactment as amended or modified at any time by any enactment.
Establishment day order.
3.— The Minister shall by order appoint a day to be the establishment day for the Commission and for the Public Appointments Service. The same day shall be appointed for both the Commission and the Service.
Dissolution of Civil Service Commissioners and Local Appointments Commissioners.
4.— The Civil Service Commissioners and the Local Appointments Commissioners are dissolved with effect from the establishment day.
5.— Subject to section 7 and, in respect of an application for a recruitment licence, section 44 (3), this Act applies to—
(a) appointments to positions in the Civil Service, including, except where otherwise provided, unestablished positions,
(b) appointments to positions in the Garda Síochána,
(c) appointments to positions to which the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act 1926 applies,
(d) appointments to such positions, or class of position, in the local authorities, the health boards and the vocational education committees, or any of them, as are designated by order of the Minister under section 6 ,
(e) appointments to positions in any other public service body as may be prescribed by order of the Minister under section 6 .
Extension of application by order.
6.— (1) Subject to section 7 , where this Act does not apply to a body or any position or class of positions within that body, the Minister may—
(a) in respect of any body to which section 5 (d) relates—
(i) after considering a report under section 17 from the Commission on that body or any position or class of positions within that body, and
(ii) after consulting with—
(I) the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, where that body is a local authority,
(II) the Minister for Health and Children, where that body is a health board, or
(III) the Minister for Education and Science, where that body is a vocational education committee,
(b) in any other case, after consulting with—
(i) the Commission, and
(ii) such Minister or Ministers of the Government (if any) who, in the opinion of the Minister, is or are the relevant Minister or relevant Ministers in respect of that body,
make an order providing for the application to the body concerned of the recruitment and appointment provisions of this Act in respect of any position or class of positions concerned.
(2) The Minister may by order amend or revoke an order under this section.
(3) Every order made by the Minister under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that order.
Excluded positions generally.
7.— (1) Subject to subsection (4), this Act does not apply to, and no order shall be made under section 6 in respect of, a position where the appointment concerned—
(a) is to a position of an office holder—
(i) under the Constitution, or
(ii) otherwise within the meaning given to office holder by section 2 of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 for the purposes of that Act,
(b) is to be made by the President,
(c) is to be made by the Government,
(d) is to the position of an officer of the Houses of the Oireachtas,
(e) is to a position of special adviser within the meaning of section 19 of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 , or
(f) is of a person to a particular unestablished position where—
(i) the appropriate authority (within the meaning of section 2 of the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 ) with the consent of the Minister (where the Minister is not the appropriate authority) recommends the appointment of the person to that position, and
(ii) the Government, having considered such recommendation, decides that such appointment would be in the public interest.
(2) Subject to subsection (4), unless an order is made under section 6 , either generally or in respect of any position or class of position, this Act does not apply to a position where the appointment concerned—
(a) is recommended by the committee known as the Top Level Appointments Committee, or by any body replacing that Committee, following a competition where it was a requirement that all candidates be serving civil servants,
(b) is to a scheduled occupation to which subsection (3) relates,
(c) is of a superannuated person to an established position consequential on his or her being duly called upon, under section 11 of the Superannuation Act 1859, to serve again in the Civil Service, whether or not he or she is required to serve on trial under section 12 of the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 ,
(d) is to a position in which such person is required to serve on trial under section 11 of the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 ,
(e) is to a position under section 7 or 15 of the Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 ,
(f) is to the position of an Appeal Commissioner under section 850 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 ,
(g) is by way of employment of civilians by the Minister for Defence under section 30 of the Defence Act 1954 ,
(h) is to the position of a person designated by the Minister under section 23(3) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990 for the purposes of section 23(1) of that Act.
(3) (a) Each of the occupations specified in Schedule 1 is, except where paragraph (b) applies, a scheduled occupation for the purposes of this Act.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply where the service to be rendered by the person to be appointed is to be established service.
(c) If any question arises as to whether a particular occupation is or is not a scheduled occupation, the question shall be decided by the Minister after consultation with the Commission.
(d) If any question arises as to whether an appointment to a scheduled occupation is or is not or was or was not an appointment to a position in the Civil Service, the question shall be decided by the Minister.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be read as affecting the application of section 34 (1)(i) to appointments to which this section applies.
(5) Nothing in this Act shall be read as affecting section 13 of the British statute passed in the year 1854 and entitled “An Act to provide for the Establishment of a National Gallery of Paintings, Sculpture, and the Fine Arts, for the Care of a Public Library, and the Erection of a Public Museum, in Dublin”.
Excluded unestablished positions.
8.— (1) This section applies to unestablished positions (not being a position which is in a scheduled occupation) within the Civil Service.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Commission may by order declare that a specified unestablished position (not being a position which is in a scheduled occupation) shall be an excluded position for the purposes of this Act, and the Commission may provide in the order that the order is to remain in force for such period only as the Commission determines and specifies in the order.
(3) The Commission shall not make an order under this section except—
(a) at the request of the authority duly authorised to appoint a person to the unestablished position concerned, and
(b) if that authority is not the Minister, with the consent of the Minister.
(4) Where an order has been made or deemed to have been made under section 5 of the Civil Service Commissioners Act 1956 that is in force on the establishment day, then that order shall be deemed to have been made under this section and shall remain in force—
(a) where the order was a limited period order within the meaning of subsection (1)(c) of the said section 5—
(i) for the remainder of the period concerned, or
(ii) where an order under subsection (5) applies, in accordance with that order, or
(iii) if the order is revoked with effect from before the end of the period concerned, until the revocation has effect,
(b) in every other case, until the order is revoked under this section.
(5) Where a limited period order referred to in subsection (4) is in force, the Commission may, from time to time, by order extend the period for which the limited period order is to remain in force.
(6) An order made or deemed to have been made under this section may, subject to subsection (3)(a), be amended or revoked.
(7) Where an order is made under this section—
(a) it shall, for the purposes of the Statutory Instruments Acts 1947 and 1955, be deemed not to be a statutory instrument to which those Acts primarily apply,
(b) notice of the making of it shall be published in Iris Oifigiúil as soon as may be after it is made, but failure to so publish shall not affect the order concerned.
(8) Any position to which an order made or deemed to have been made under this section applies shall, so long as the order remains in force, be, for the purposes of this Act, an excluded position, and the expression “excluded position” shall be read accordingly.
9.— The expenses of the Commission and of the Public Appointments Service shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister, be paid out of monies provided by the Oireachtas.
10.— (1) The Commission and the Public Appointments Service may each charge fees, if any, to public service bodies in respect of any service carried out under this Act by the Commission or the Service, respectively.
(2) A licence holder may charge fees, if any, to candidates for a competition to which this Act applies.
(3) Any fees collected and taken under this section—
(a) by the Commission or the Public Appointments Service shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in accordance with the directions of the Minister, and
(b) by any other licence holder shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in accordance with the directions of the relevant Minister, issued with the consent of the Minister.
(4) The Public Offices Fees Act 1879 does not apply to any fees charged under this Act.