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Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004
Commission For Public Service Appointments
Establishment of Commission.
11.— (1) There is established with effect from the establishment day a body to be known in the Irish language as An Coimisiún um Cheapacháin Seirbhíse Poiblí and in the English language as the Commission for Public Service Appointments, in this Act referred to as the “Commission”.
(2) The Commission is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a seal and with power to sue and be sued in its corporate name.
Number of commissioners.
12.— The Commission consists of—
(a) the Chairman of Dáil Éireann (An Ceann Comhairle),
(b) the Secretary General to the Government,
(c) the Secretary General, Public Service Management and Development, Department of Finance,
(d) the chairperson of the Standards in Public Office Commission, and
(e) the Ombudsman,
who in this Act are referred to as “commissioners”.
Functions of Commission.
13.— (1) The functions of the Commission are as follows:
(a) to establish standards of probity, merit, equity and fairness, and other principles as they consider appropriate, to be followed, in the public interest, in the recruitment and selection of persons for positions in the Civil Service and other public service bodies;
(b) to publish as codes of practice—
(i) standards referred to in paragraph (a) in accordance with section 23 ;
(ii) standards on the selection procedures for promotion under Part 6;
(iii) procedures to which section 23 (3) relates;
and any such code may include all or any of the matters referred to in subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) and may, from time to time, be amended or replaced;
(c) to meet on a regular basis, agree and establish procedures which it deems appropriate and which permit it to decide and carry out its functions effectively, including systems to monitor, audit and evaluate the recruitment and selection process;
(d) to grant licences under section 43 , to amend such licences under section 51 and, where the Commission considers it appropriate in the circumstances, to revoke such licences under section 52 ;
(e) to issue instructions under section 48 ;
(f) to issue advices under section 49 ;
(g) to establish and set down appropriate appeal procedures to allow it to consider and decide issues in relation to licences, codes of practice and related matters put forward by the Public Appointments Service and other licence holders and to make those procedures available to the Public Appointments Service and other licence holders;
(h) to report to the Oireachtas annually in accordance with section 19 ;
(i) to report to Government at any time as the Commission see fit;
(j) to provide such information to the Minister or other relevant Minister as that Minister may request from time to time on the operation of the recruitment and selection process;
(k) to perform any additional functions assigned to it under subsection (3);
(l) otherwise, to carry out its powers and duties under this Act.
(2) (a) Subject to this Act, the Commission is independent in the exercise of its functions.
(b) In exercising its functions under this Act, the Commission shall be guided by the principles of good recruitment practice.
(3) The Minister may by order—
(a) confer on the Commission such additional functions relating to either or both—
(i) the recruitment and selection process, and
(ii) the selection and promotion procedures,
that are connected with the functions conferred on the Commission by subsection (1) or an order made under this subsection, as the Minister considers appropriate,
(b) make such provision as he or she considers necessary or expedient in relation to matters ancillary to or arising out of the conferral on the Commission of functions so conferred.
(4) The Minister may by order amend or revoke an order under this section, including an order under this subsection.
(5) 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 the 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 it.
Duty to inform Commission of certain matters.
14.— (1) Where an office holder or a listed recruitment agency believes that any person has, deliberately or recklessly, interfered improperly with the recruitment process, or has attempted to so interfere, the office holder or recruitment agency shall forthwith inform the Commission and, where the office holder is not the licence holder concerned, the licence holder accordingly.
(2) Where the Commission is of the opinion that there may have been interference with the recruitment process, it may investigate or cause to be investigated the matter on its behalf by a person appointed under section 15 .
Investigations on behalf of Commission.
15.— (1) The Commission may, in writing, authorise—
(a) one or more of the commissioners,
(b) one or more than one person who, in the opinion of the Commission, has the qualifications and experience necessary to exercise the functions conferred by this section, or
(c) any combination of persons to whom paragraphs (a) and (b) relate,
to investigate the exercise of functions under this Act by a licence holder or a recruitment agency on the list of recruitment agencies.
(2) The Commission shall provide each person authorised under subsection (1) with a warrant of appointment and such person shall when exercising a power under this section produce the warrant to any person affected, if requested to produce it by that person.
(3) A person authorised under subsection (1) may, at all reasonable times on production of the person's authorisation, enter premises at which the office holder or listed recruitment agency carries on business.
(4) A person authorised under subsection (1) who has entered premises in accordance with subsection (3) may exercise all or any of the following powers:
(a) inspect the premises;
(b) request any person on the premises who apparently has control of, or access to, records relating to the exercise of functions under this Act (including any record required to be held by virtue of any term, condition, direction or requirement of the Commission) to produce the records for inspection;
(c) inspect any records produced in accordance with the request, or found on the premises in the course of inspecting the premises;
(d) take copies of those records or of any part of them;
(e) request any person who the authorised person reasonably believes has information relating to those records, or to the business of the office holder or the listed recruitment agency (as the case may be), to answer questions with respect to the records or that business.
(5) A person to whom a request is made in accordance with subsection (4) shall—
(a) comply with the request so far as is possible to do so, and
(b) give such other assistance and information to the authorised person with respect to the business of the licence holder as is reasonable in the circumstances.
(6) The powers conferred by subsection (4) may also be exercised in relation to any other person who, in the opinion of the Commission, is in possession of information that is materially relevant to the exercise of functions under this Act by an office holder or a listed recruitment agency.
(7) The production of a record in compliance with a request made under this section does not prejudice any lien that a person may have over the record.
(8) Nothing in this section requires a legal practitioner to produce a record that contains a privileged communication made by or to the practitioner or to divulge any information that relates to the communication.
(9) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), information obtained by an authorised person under subsection (1) by virtue of the performance by him or her of any functions under this section shall not be disclosed, by any person except in accordance with law.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to the disclosure of information where such disclosure is duly made—
(i) in the course of, or for the purposes of, an investigation under this Act,
(ii) for the purposes of any report or notification under this Act, or
(iii) to any of the following:
(I) the Commission;
(II) the Minister;
(III) the Garda Síochána;
(IV) the Director of Public Prosecutions.
(10) A person commits an offence if such person—
(a) obstructs a person authorised under subsection (1) in the exercise of a power conferred by this section,
(b) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a request made under this section, or
(c) in purported compliance with such a request, gives information to a person authorised under subsection (1), that the person knows to be false or misleading.
(11) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or to both.
Report to Government.
16.— Where the Commission is satisfied that there has been a material infringement of the terms and conditions of a recruitment licence, or of any direction given to a licence holder, the Commission shall—
(a) report that matter to the Government,
(b) publish that report or any part of it, as it sees fit, and
(c) include information relating to the infringement in its Annual Report.
Report to Minister.
17.— (1) The Commission may carry out such assessment as it considers appropriate into recruitment practices of—
(a) any public service body, or
(b) any class of public service bodies,
to which section 5 (d) relates, either generally or with regard to specific positions or a class of positions, and may make a report on the matter to the Minister.
(2) The Commission may make such recommendations as it considers appropriate in a report under this section, including any recommendation that an order be made under section 6 (1) in respect of a specific position or a class of positions.
(a) a report made to the Minister under this section contains a recommendation that an order be made under section 6 (1) in respect of a specific position or a class of positions, and
(b) no such order has been made within 2 years of the Minister receiving the report,
then the Minister shall lay a report on the matter before each House of the Oireachtas within the next 10 days on which the House concerned has sat after the end of that period of 2 years.
(4) Subsection (3) shall not apply if, before the expiration of the period of 2 years, the Minister lays a copy of the report before each House of the Oireachtas together with a statement that he or she does not intend to make an order as recommended by the Commission.
Statement of strategy of Commission.
18.— Within 6 months after the establishment day, the Commission shall prepare and submit to the Minister a statement of strategy for the purposes of paragraph (b) of section 4(1) of the Public Service Management Act 1997 and, for that purpose, subparagraph (i) of that paragraph shall be read as if it referred to a period ending within 6 months of the establishment of the Commission.
Annual report of Commission.
19.— (1) In each year after the establishment day for the Commission, it shall prepare a report in relation to its activities under this Act in the preceding year and cause copies of the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), if, but for this subsection, the first report under that subsection would relate to a period of less than 6 months, the report shall relate to that period and to the year immediately following that period and shall be prepared as soon as may be after the end of that year.
Seal of Commission, etc.
20.— (1) The Commission shall, as soon as may be after establishment day, provide itself with a seal.
(2) The seal shall be authenticated by the signatures of—
(a) a commissioner, and
(i) another commissioner, or
(ii) the Director or, where authorised by the Commission to authenticate the seal, another member of the staff of the Commission.
(3) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of the Commission and every document purporting to be an instrument made by and to be sealed with the seal of the Commission (purporting to be authenticated in accordance with this section) shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such instrument without proof unless the contrary is shown.
(4) When the Commission has provided itself with a seal, then thereafter each of the following shall only be made, published or otherwise issued under the seal of the Commission:
(a) instructions to licence holders under section 48 ;
(b) a warrant of appointment as an authorised officer under section 15 ;
(c) a report to the Government under section 16 ;
(d) a report to the Minister under section 17 ;
(e) a statement of strategy under section 18 ;
(f) a report of activities of the Commission under section 19 ;
(g) a code of practice published by the Commission under section 23 and any instrument consolidating, revoking or amending any such code.
(5) Subject to subsection (4), any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not require to be made under seal may be entered into or executed on behalf of the Commission by any person generally or specially authorised by the Commission for that purpose.
Declaration of interests by commissioners.
21.— (1) Each commissioner shall, on his or her appointment as such, make a declaration in writing of his or her interests to the Minister, in such form as the Minister may specify.
(2) Each commissioner shall, throughout the tenure of his or her appointment, amend and update his or her declarations of interests as required by the Minister by reference to any change in the interest held by the commissioner.
Disclosure of interests by commissioners.
22.— (1) Where a commissioner has a pecuniary interest or other beneficial interest in, or material to, any matter which falls to be considered by the Commission, he or she shall—
(a) disclose to the Commission the nature of his or her interest in advance of any consideration of the matter,
(b) neither influence nor seek to influence a decision in relation to the matter,
(c) take no part in any consideration of the matter, and
(d) withdraw from any meeting for so long as the matter is being discussed or considered and not vote or otherwise act in relation to the matter.
(2) For the purpose of this section, but without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a commissioner shall be regarded as having a beneficial interest if—
(a) he or she or any member of his or her household, or any nominee of his or her household, is a member of a company or any other body which has a beneficial interest in, or material to, a matter referred to in that subsection,
(b) he or she or any member of his or her household is in partnership with or is in the employment of a person who has a beneficial interest in, or material to, such a matter,
(c) he or she or any member of his or her household is a party to any arrangement or agreement (whether or not enforceable) concerning land to which such a matter relates, or
(d) any member of his or her household has a beneficial interest in, or material to, such a matter.
(3) For the purposes of this section a commissioner shall not be regarded as having a beneficial interest in, or material to, any matter by reason only of an interest of his or hers or of any company or of any other body or person mentioned in subsection (2) which is so remote or insignificant that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence a person in considering, discussing or in voting on, any question with respect to the matter, or in performing any function in relation to that matter.
(4) Where a question arises as to whether or not a course of conduct, if pursued by a commissioner, would be a failure by him or her to comply with the requirements of subsection (1), the question shall be determined by the Commission and for that purpose the commissioner concerned—
(a) shall disclose the proposed course of conduct to the Commission,
(b) shall neither influence nor seek to influence a decision in relation to the matter,
(c) shall take no part in any consideration of the matter, and
(d) shall not vote or otherwise act in relation to the matter.
(5) Where a disclosure is made to the Commission under subsection (1) or (4), particulars of the disclosure and of any determination under subsection (4) shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting concerned.