New laws to rein in State boards
New laws to rein in directors on State bodies like FÁS and the HSE will be debated in the Dáil, according to Fine Gael Enterprise Spokesman Leo Varadkar TD.
Deputy Varadkar will present a powerful Fine Gael Bill to change the way that State boards are appointed and ensure they can be held accountable by elected representatives in the Oireachtas.
The Public Accounts Transparency Bill aims to put an end to scandalous spending practices at bodies like FÁS, and to make powerful bodies like the HSE more accountable to elected representatives.
Deputy Varadkar said: ‘More than 7,000 positions on State bodies are appointed directly by the Government. This has allowed a culture of cronyism to flourish, and also means there is no guarantee that the people appointed to powerful State bodies have the appropriate qualifications’.
The Fine Gael Bill would make State agencies like FÁS, the HSE, the Financial Regulator and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority directly accountable to the relevant Oireachtas Committee for the first time. It would also require the qualifications of prospective candidates to be published, and that all new appointments will have their duties clearly outlined when they start work.
“The spending scandals in FÁS, public anger about the HSE, and deep concerns about bodies like Dublin Docklands Authority have all damaged public trust in the State sector.
“The Government will shortly be appointing new directors to NAMA and FÁS. I am urging the Green Party, which claims to have an interest in this area, to back the Fine Gael Bill in the Dáil this week. This is a timely measure to end the culture of cronyism that has flourished for far too long under Fianna Fáil.”