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 Header Item Water Services Bill 2014: Second Stage (Resumed) (Continued)
 Header Item Estimates for Public Services 2014
 Header Item Membership of Committee: Motion
 Header Item Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed)
 Header Item Priority Questions
 Header Item National Cultural Institutions

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 861 No. 1

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An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett When is it proposed to take Committee Stage?

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe Today.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Is that agreed? Agreed. Is the proposal for dealing with No. 15 agreed? Would Members mind staying quiet until I put the questions?

Deputies: Hear, hear.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Others have to go and have their tea as well as everybody else. Please stop talking on the stairs and leave the Chamber if you want to have conversations. Did anybody hear what I said? Is it agreed? Agreed.

Deputy Derek Keating: Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating Where is Deputy Paul Murphy?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Sorry, would you mind your own business and stay quiet for a while?

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett We know where he is.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett You would not get it in a crèche, never mind a primary school.

Estimates for Public Services 2014

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I move the following Supplementary Estimates:



Vote 35 - Army Pensions (Supplementary)
That a supplementary sum not exceeding €4,800,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2014, for retired pay, pensions,compensation, allowances and gratuities payable under sundry statutes to or in respect of members of the Defence Forces and certain other Military Organisations, etc., and for sundry contributions and expenses in connection therewith; for certain extra-statutory children’s allowances and other payments and for sundry grants.
Vote 36 - Defence (Supplementary)
That a supplementary sum not exceeding €1,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2014, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Defence, including certain services administered by that Office; for the pay and expenses of the Defence Forces; and for payment of certain grants-in-aid.

Votes put and agreed to.

Membership of Committee: Motion

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I move:

That Deputy John Paul Phelan be discharged from the Select Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality and that Deputy Fergus O'Dowd be appointed in substitution for him.

  Question put and agreed to.

Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed)

Priority Questions

National Cultural Institutions

 87. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if it is still Government policy that all members of boards of national cultural institutions would serve on a pro bono basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [47043/14]

Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl This is like the start of the graveyard shift. The question simply seeks the Government to elucidate whether it and the Minister remain committed to the position as set out by her predecessor that members of the boards of the cultural institutions will serve on a pro bono basis.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys I thank the Deputy for raising this matter. In the context of the Government's public service reform plan published in November 2011, the Department conducted a critical examination of the structure and operation of a range of cultural institutions and bodies, including the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, the National Library, the National Museum, the National Archives, the Irish Manuscripts Commission and the National Concert Hall. The Government subsequently approved a number of key reforms arising from the review, including on governance, the reinforcement of curatorial independence and identity, shared supports and statutory underpinning.

  The new arrangements envisage that, henceforth, the boards or equivalent structures at the institutions and bodies reviewed under the public service reform plan will operate on a pro bono basis. In advance of giving legal effect to these arrangements, the relevant bodies were requested to implement this policy on an administrative basis and all have done so.

  The Department has drafted general schemes of Bills for a number of national cultural institutions, which have been approved by Government and submitted to the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for drafting. They have also been submitted to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht for pre-legislative scrutiny. A provision that the boards of the relevant institutions will operate on a pro bono basis is included in these general schemes.

Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl I thank the Minister for her response and I acknowledge that when she recently made a detailed presentation to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht we dealt with this issue, particularly as it relates to the Arts Council. I remain somewhat uncertain as to what is the position. In 2013, the then Minister, Deputy Deenihan, advertised vacancies with regard to the chair and five members of the Arts Council. It was indicated quite clearly at that stage that these members would serve on a pro bono basis. One assumes people looking at this advertisement and thinking about the possibility of providing the service could have been influenced by the fact there was no remuneration to be had, but subsequently it appeared the chair and members appointed had been remunerated. If the Minister is now saying this was done because there is a legal requirement to do so, will she please set out what is the legal requirement and whether there is a difficulty with the advertisement as initially published by the then Minister, Deputy Deenihan?

Deputy Heather Humphreys: Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Department is in the process of updating legislation on the cultural institutions, which will include a provision that members of the boards will operate on a pro bono basis.


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