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SOLR_PROP

Electricity Regulation Act, 1999

SCHEDULE

The Commission for Electricity Regulation

Section 8.

1. The Commission shall consist of at least one but not more than three members, each of whom shall be appointed by the Minister on such terms and conditions of appointment, including remuneration, as the Minister may fix, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, to hold office in a full-time capacity for a period of not less than three and not more than seven years.

2. Where there is more than one member of the Commission, the Minister shall appoint one of them to be chairperson of the Commission on such terms and conditions of appointment, including remuneration, as the Minister may fix, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, to hold office in a full-time capacity for a period of not less than three and not more than five years.

3. A member of the Commission, including the chairperson, whose term of office expires by effluxion of time shall be eligible for re-appointment to serve a second term, subject to a limit of serving no more than ten years on the Commission.

4. A member of the Commission shall not be entitled to serve more than two terms of office.

5. A member of the Commission may—

(a) at any time resign his or her office by letter addressed to the Minister and the resignation shall take effect from the date of receipt of the letter, and

(b) be removed from office by the Minister if, in his or her opinion, the member has become incapable through ill-health of effectively performing his or her duties or for stated misbehaviour and the Minister shall cause to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas a statement of the reasons for such removal.

6. The Commission may act notwithstanding a vacancy or vacancies in its membership.

7. A member of the Commission shall not hold any other office or employment in respect of which emoluments are payable.

8. A member of the Commission shall not, for a period of twelve months following his or her resignation, removal or retirement from the office of Commission, hold any office or employment or act as a consultant where he or she may be liable to use or disclose information acquired by him or her in the exercise of the functions of the Commission.

9. Subject to this Act, the Commission shall be independent in the performance of its functions.

10. The Commission may, subject to the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance, appoint such and so many persons to be members of its staff as it considers necessary to assist it in the performance of its functions on such terms and conditions including terms and conditions as to remuneration and grading as may be agreed.

11. The Commission may perform such of its functions as it may deem proper through or by any member of its staff.

12. The Commission shall designate a member of its staff as deputy member of the Commission who shall assume and carry out with the authority of the Commission all of the functions of the Commission in the absence of the members or when the membership of the Commission is vacant.

13. The Minister may make available to the Commission, on a request being made by the Commission, such staff, premises, equipment, services and other resources as the Minister may determine from time to time in consultation with the Minister for Finance.

14. Members of the staff of the Minister whose services are afforded to the Commission by secondment shall remain civil servants of the Minister and in any particular case a period of assignment on secondment to the Commission shall not exceed two years.

15. The Commission shall pay to the Minister such sum or sums as the Minister may specify to be the expenses incurred by the Minister in establishing the office of Commission and in making available to the Commission such staff, premises, equipment, services and other resources under paragraph 13.

16. For the purpose of meeting expenses properly incurred by the Commission in the discharge of its functions under this Act, the Commission may make an order (in this Act referred to as a “levy order”) imposing a levy to be paid each year on such classes of electricity undertakings as may be specified by the Commission in the order.

17. Whenever a levy order is made under paragraph 16 there shall be paid to the Commission by an electricity undertaking which belongs to a class of electricity undertaking specified in the order such amount as shall be appropriate having regard to the terms of the levy order.

18. A levy order made under paragraph 16 may be amended or revoked by the Commission by order.

19. An amendment to a levy order made under paragraph 16 which provides for an increase in the levy may only take effect in the year after the year in which the amendment is made.

20. Any excess of the revenue of the Commission over its expenditure in any year shall be applied by the Commission to meet its expenses.

21. The Minister may from time to time, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, advance to the Commission out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas such sums as the Minister may determine for the purposes of expenditure by the Commission in the performance of its functions.

22. The sums to be advanced under paragraph 21 shall be expended solely for the purpose and exercise of the functions conferred on the Commission by this Act.

23. The Commission shall pay to the Minister on every sum advanced to the Commission under this Act interest from the date of the advance of such sum until the same is repaid at such rate and in such manner as shall be appointed by the Minister at the time of the advance and at such rate as may be determined from time to time and such rate of interest shall not at any time exceed that fixed by an order under section 20 of the Courts Act, 1981 .

24. The Commission may, for the purpose of the performance of its functions, borrow money, but shall not do so without the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

25. The Commission shall—

(a) keep in such form as may be approved by the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, all proper and usual accounts of all moneys received or expended by it including an income and expenditure account and balance sheet,

(b) submit accounts kept under subparagraph (a) in respect of each year to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit and those accounts when so audited, shall, together with the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon, be presented within six months of the end of the financial year, to the Minister, who shall cause copies of the accounts and report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas, and

(c) within the first three months of each year make a report to the Minister in relation to the performance of its functions in the previous year and its proposed work programme for the following year and the Minister shall cause copies of the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable.

26. From time to time, and whenever so requested, the Commission shall account for the performance of its functions to a Joint Committee of the Oireachtas and shall have regard to any recommendations of such Joint Committee relevant to its functions.

27. The Commission may from time to time engage such consultants or advisers as it may consider necessary to assist it in the discharges of its functions and any fees due to a consultant or adviser engaged under this paragraph shall form part of the expenses of the Commission.

28. No action or other proceedings shall lie or be maintainable (except in the case of wilful neglect or default) against any member of the Commission arising from a failure to perform or to comply with any of the functions conferred on the Commission by this Act.

29. Where the Commission is satisfied that any member of the staff of the Commission or authorised person appointed by the Commission has discharged his or her duties in a bona fide manner, the Commission shall indemnify the member of staff or authorised person against all actions or claims howsoever arising in respect of the discharge by him or her of his or her duties.

30. (a) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, make a scheme or schemes for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of a member of the Commission ceasing to hold office or for the making of contributions to a pension scheme approved of by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance which has been entered into by a member of the Commission.

(b) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, make a scheme amending or revoking a scheme under this paragraph, including a scheme under this subparagraph.

(c) If any dispute arises as to the claim of a member of the Commission to, or the amount of, any pension, gratuity or other allowance payable in pursuance of a scheme under this paragraph, such dispute shall be submitted to the Minister who shall refer it to the Minister for Finance for determination by him or her.

(d) A scheme under this paragraph shall be carried out by the Minister in accordance with its terms.

(e) No pension, gratuity or other allowance shall be granted by the Minister to or in respect of any person referred to in subparagraph (a) ceasing to hold office otherwise than in accordance with a scheme under this paragraph or as otherwise may be approved of by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

31. The Commission may prepare and submit to the Minister a scheme or schemes or may make such other arrangements with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Finance, for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of such members of staff of the Commission, including a member appointed as a deputy member of the Commission in accordance with paragraph 12, as he or she may think fit.

32. Every scheme made under paragraph 30 or 31 shall fix the time and conditions of retirement for all persons to or in respect of whom superannuation benefits are payable under the scheme, and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.

33. Every scheme made under paragraph 31 may with the consent of the Minister for Finance be amended or revoked by a subsequent scheme prepared, submitted and approved under paragraph 31.

34. A scheme made under paragraph 31 submitted by the Commission to the Minister shall, if approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance, be carried out by the Commission in accordance with its terms.

35. No superannuation benefits shall be granted by the Commission nor shall any other arrangements be entered into by the Commission for the provision of such a benefit to or in respect of a member of the staff of the Commission otherwise than in accordance with a scheme under paragraph 31 or otherwise as may be approved of by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

36. If any dispute arises as to the claim of any person to, or the amount of any superannuation benefit payable in pursuance of a scheme or schemes under paragraph 30 or 31, such dispute shall be submitted to the Minister who shall refer it to the Minister for Finance, for determination by him or her.

37. As soon as may be the Commission shall establish a fund administered by trustees who shall be appointed by the Commission from which superannuation benefits payable in respect of a member of the staff of the Commission ceasing to hold office, under a scheme under paragraph 31 shall be paid.

38. A scheme under paragraph 30 or 31 shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas by the Minister, in the case of a scheme under paragraph 30, or by the Commission, in the case of a scheme under paragraph 31, as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the scheme is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the scheme is laid before it, the scheme shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

39. Where a member of the Commission is—

(a) nominated as a member of Seanad éireann, or

(b) nominated to stand as a candidate for election as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or to the European Parliament, or

(c) regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act, 1997 , as having been elected to the European Parliament to fill a vacancy,

the member shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Commission.

40. Where a person employed by the Commission—

(a) is nominated as a member of Seanad éireann, or

(b) is elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or to the European Parliament, or

(c) is regarded pursuant to Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act, 1997 , as having been elected to the European Parliament to fill a vacancy,

he or she shall thereupon stand seconded from his or her employment by the Commission and shall not be paid by, or be entitled to receive from, the Commission remuneration or allowances in respect of the period commencing on such nomination or election, or when he or she is so regarded as having been elected, as the case may be, and ending when he or she ceases to be a member of either such House or such Parliament.

41. A person who is, for the time being, entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a member of the European Parliament shall, while he or she is so entitled or is such a member, be disqualified from becoming a member of, or a member of the staff of the Commission.

42. Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph 40 that paragraph shall be construed as prohibiting, among other things the reckoning of a period mentioned in that paragraph as service with the Commission for the purposes of any superannuation benefits.

43. In this Schedule—

“expenses” means outgoings of the Commission to include the remuneration of the Commission and its staff, any expenditure incurred by the Commission or its staff in consequence of the carrying out of the functions of the Commission, payments to the Minister under this Act and repayment of any advance or interest or any advance made by the Minister under this Act;

“superannuation benefits” means pensions, gratuities and other allowances payable on resignation, retirement or death.