Regional Technical Colleges Act, 1992

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Number 16 of 1992


REGIONAL TECHNICAL COLLEGES ACT, 1992


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Commencement.

2.

Interpretation.

3.

Establishment of colleges.

4.

Membership of colleges.

5.

Functions of colleges.

6.

Governing bodies.

7.

Functions of governing bodies.

8.

Dissolution of governing body.

9.

Director.

10.

Academic council.

11.

General provisions in relation to Staff.

12.

Provisions in relation to existing staff.

13.

Programmes and budget.

14.

Annual report and information.

15.

Grants.

16.

Accounts and audits.

17.

Fees and charges.

18.

Transfer of property and liabilities.

19.

Preservation of contracts and continuance of legal proceedings.

20.

Inspection.

21.

Modification of section 7 (5) of Vocational Education (Amendment) Act, 1944.

22.

Expenses.

23.

Regulations.

24.

Short title.

FIRST SCHEDULE

The Colleges

SECOND SCHEDULE

The Governing Body

THIRD SCHEDULE

The Director


Acts Referred to

European Assembly Elections Act, 1977

1977, No. 30

European Assembly Elections Act, 1984

1984, No. 6

Finance Act, 1895

1895, c. 16

Local Government (Superannuation) Act, 1980

1980, No. 8

Vocational Education Act, 1930

1930, No. 29

Vocational Education (Amendment) Act, 1944

1944, No. 9

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Number 16 of 1992


REGIONAL TECHNICAL COLLEGES ACT, 1992


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ORGANISATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONAL TECHNICAL AND OTHER COLLEGES, TO DEFINE THEIR FUNCTIONS, AND TO MODIFY THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1944 , AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE FOREGOING. [19th July, 1992]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Commencement.

1.—This Act shall come into operation on such day as the Minister shall by order appoint.

Interpretation.

2.—(1) In this Act—

“academic council” has the meaning assigned to it by section 10 of this Act;

“college” means an educational institution established by or under section 3 of this Act as a regional technical college or as a college to which this Act applies and, in relation to the Regional Technical College, Cork, includes a school of that College established as such under section 3 (1) (b);

“course of study” means a course of study, instruction or training leading to an educational award by the National Council for Educational Awards, an university in the State or such other certifying authority as may be approved by the Minister from time to time;

“the Director” in relation to a college, means the person appointed under section 9 of this Act to be the Director of the college;

“establishment” and “establishment date” refer, in the case of a regional technical college established by section 3 (1) of this Act, to the commencement of this Act and, in the case of a college established by order under section 3 (2) of this Act or an educational institution or part of such an institution which by order under section 3 (3) of this Act forms part of a college, to the commencement of the order;

“functions” includes powers and duties;

“governing body”, in relation to a college, means the governing body of the college established by section 6 of this Act;

“graduate” means a person on whom there has been conferred or who has been granted or given an educational award on successful completion of a course of study at a college;

“local authority” means the council of a county, the council of a county or other borough or the council of an urban district;

“the Minister” means the Minister for Education;

“the vocational education committee”, in relation to a college, means the vocational education committee in whose functional area the college is situated.

(2) A reference in this Act to the performance of functions includes a reference to the exercise of powers and the performance of duties.

(3) A reference in this Act to a subsection is to a subsection of the section in which the reference is made unless the contrary is indicated.

Establishment of colleges.

3.—(1) (a) Each educational institution specified in column (1) of the First Schedule to this Act is hereby established as a regional technical college to which this Act applies and shall, subject to subsection (4), continue to bear, and to be known by, the name in the Irish language or in the English language by which it is referred to in that Schedule.

(b) Coláiste Ealaíne agus Deartha Crawford (the Crawford College of Art and Design) and Ceol-Scoil Chorcaí (the Cork School of Music) are hereby established as schools of the Regional Technical College, Cork, established by subsection (1) (a) and each of them shall continue to bear and to be known by, the name in the Irish language or in the English language by which it is referred to in this paragraph.

(2) Whenever the Minister and the vocational education committee considers that this Act should apply to any other educational institution, the Minister may, by order, made with the consent of the Minister for Finance, and following consultation with the vocational education committee, amend the said First Schedule by inserting in column (1) thereof the name of the institution and any other particulars relevant to the Schedule and, upon the commencement of the order, the institution shall stand established as a college to which this Act applies and the college shall, subject to subsection (4), continue to bear and to be known by that name.

(3) Whenever the Minister and the vocational education committee considers that an educational institution or part of such an institution should form part of a college the Minister may, by order, made with the consent of the Minister for Finance, and following consultation with the vocational education committee and the governing body, amend the said First Schedule by inserting in column (2) thereof opposite the mention of the college in column (1) of that Schedule the name of the institution and in the case of a part of an institution any other particulars relevant to the said column (2) and, upon the commencement of the order, the institution or part of the institution shall become and form part of the college.

(4) The Minister may, following consultation with the governing body of a college, by order change the name of the college in the First Schedule and amend the said Schedule accordingly.

(5) A college shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and power to sue and be sued in its corporate name and to acquire, hold and dispose of land.

Membership of colleges.

4.—(1) The members of a college shall be—

(a) the members of the governing body,

(b) the members of the academic council,

(c) the members of the staff,

(d) the registered students of the college,

(e) the graduates of the college,

(f) such other persons as the governing body may appoint to be members.

(2) Membership of a college under subsection (1) (f) shall continue until the governing body otherwise declares.

Functions of colleges.

5.—(1) The principal function of a college shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be to provide vocational and technical education and training for the economic, technological, scientific, commercial, industrial, social and cultural development of the State with particular reference to the region served by the college, and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, a college shall have the following functions—

(a) to provide such courses of study as the governing body of the college considers appropriate;

(b) to enter into arrangements with the National Council for Educational Awards, with any university in the State or with any other authority approved by the Minister from time to time for the purpose of having degrees, diplomas, certificates or other educational awards conferred, granted or given and to make such other arrangements as may be approved by the Minister from time to time for this purpose;

(c) subject to such conditions as the Minister may determine, to engage in research, consultancy and development work and to provide such services in relation to these matters as the governing body of the college considers appropriate;

(d) to enter into arrangements with other institutions in or outside the State for the purpose of offering joint courses of study and of engaging jointly in programmes of research, consultancy and development work in relation to such matters as the governing body of the college considers appropriate;

(e) subject to such conditions as the Minister may determine, to enter into arrangements, including participation in limited liability companies, to exploit any research, consultancy or development work undertaken by a college either separately or jointly;

(f) to institute and, if thought fit, to award scholarships, prizes and other awards;

(g) to maintain, manage, administer and invest all the money and assets of the college;

(h) to accept gifts of money, land or other property upon such trusts and conditions, if any, as may be specified by the donors: provided that nothing in any such trust or condition is contrary to the provisions of this Act;

(i) subject to the approval of the Minister, to acquire land;

(j) to do all such acts and things as may be necessary to further the objects and development of the college.

(2) (a) A college shall have such other functions as may be assigned to it from time to time by the Minister by order made with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance.

(b) The Minister may, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, by order revoke or amend an order under this subsection.

(c) Whenever an order is proposed to be made under this subsection, a draft of the proposed order shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and the order shall not be made until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House.

Governing bodies.

6.—(1) There shall be a governing body of a college and the governing body, save as otherwise provided by this Act, shall perform the functions conferred on the college by this Act.

(2) The governing body of a college shall consist of—

(a) a chairman and 17 ordinary members, and

(b) the Director of the college.

(3) The first members (other than the chairman and the Director) of the governing body of a college shall be persons appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the vocational education committee and the ordinary members shall be recommended in accordance with the provisions of subsection (4) (a), (b), (f) and (g) together with five other persons nominated by the Minister as ordinary members and shall hold office for a period of one year from the date of their appointment.

(4) Upon the expiration of the term of office of the first members, the ordinary members of a governing body shall be appointed by the Minister, on the recommendation of the vocational education committee, in accordance with the following provisions:

(a) six persons of whom at least three shall be members of a local authority shall, subject to paragraph (b), be nominated by the vocational education committee;

(b) if the region served by the college includes all or part of the functional area of one or more than one vocational education committee other than the vocational education committee in whose functional area the college is situated, the Minister may direct that one or more, but not more than four in all, of the persons to whom paragraph (a) relates, shall be nominated to the vocational education committee by such of those other committees as the Minister may specify;

(c) two persons, being members of the academic staff of the college, shall be elected by that staff in accordance with regulations made by the governing body;

(d) one person, being a member of the staff (other than the academic staff) of the college, shall be elected by that staff in accordance with regulations made by the governing body;

(e) two persons, being registered students of the college, shall be elected by the registered students in accordance with regulations made by the governing body;

(f) one person shall be nominated by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions;

(g) five persons shall be nominated by such organisations as the vocational education committee considers require representation having regard to the particular courses provided by the college, excluding interests otherwise represented on the governing body. Such organisations shall be representative of industry, agriculture, commerce, the professions and other interests as appropriate to the activities of the college.

(5) In making appointments to a governing body pursuant to subsection (4) of this section the Minister shall have regard to the extent to which each sex is represented and shall ensure an appropriate gender balance as determined by the Minister from time to time.

(6) (a) If a member of the governing body of a college (other than the chairman or the Director) dies, resigns, retires or is otherwise removed from office pursuant to this Act before the expiration of that member's term of office, the vacancy so caused shall be filled by the appointment to the governing body by the Minister of a person recommended by the vocational education committee nominated in the same manner as was the person occasioning the vacancy.

(b) A person appointed to be a member of a governing body pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection shall, unless such person sooner dies, resigns or becomes disqualified from holding office, hold office for the remainder of the term of office of the member of the governing body occasioning the vacancy.

(7) The provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act shall apply to a governing body.

Functions of governing bodies.

7.—(1) Save as otherwise provided by this Act, the governing body of a college shall manage and control the affairs of the college and all property of the college and shall perform the functions conferred on the college by this Act, and shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the purpose of those functions subject to such policies as may be determined by the Minister from time to time and to the programmes and budget approved annually by the vocational education committee and the Minister under section 13 of this Act.

(2) The governing body may, from time to time, appoint such and so many committees as it thinks proper to assist it in such manner as it shall direct and the governing body may assign to any committee so appointed such duties as it thinks fit.

(3) The acts of a committee established under this section shall be subject to confirmation by the governing body.

(4) In performing its functions, a governing body shall have due regard to the preservation, promotion and use of the Irish language and to the preservation and development of the national culture.

(5) In performing its functions a governing body shall have regard to the attainment of gender equity and of equality of opportunity in education.

(6) In performing its functions a governing body shall have regard to the statutory responsibilities in the provision of vocational and technical education of the vocational education committee.

Dissolution of governing body.

8.—(1) If—

(a) the Minister is satisfied that the functions of the governing body of a college are not being duly and effectively discharged, or

(b) a governing body wilfully neglects to comply with any order, direction or regulation of the Minister made or given in pursuance of the provisions of this Act, or

(c) a governing body fails to comply with any judgment or order of any court of competent jurisdiction,

the Minister may, after consultation with the vocational education committee, by order dissolve the governing body.

(2) Whenever the Minister makes an order dissolving a governing body the Minister may appoint any body of persons as the Minister thinks fit to perform the functions of the governing body.

(3) The remuneration, if any, of every person appointed under subsection (2) shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas under section 15 of this Act.

(4) The Minister shall by order provide for the re-establishment of a governing body dissolved under subsection (1) and for the appointment of members thereto in accordance with section 6 of this Act not later than one year following the dissolution and when the new governing body has been appointed the functions of the dissolved governing body shall be revested in the new governing body and shall cease to be functions of the body of persons appointed under subsection (2).

Director.

9.—(1) Each governing body shall, with the approval of the Minister, from time to time appoint in a whole-time capacity a person to be the Director and chief officer of the college.

(2) The selection of the Director shall be a function of the governing body in accordance with the procedures, which shall include the composition of a selection board, determined by the Minister from time to time.

(3) The provisions of the Third Schedule to this Act shall apply to the Director.

Academic council.

10.—(1) Each college shall have an academic council appointed by the governing body to assist it in the planning, co-ordination, development and overseeing of the educational work of the college and to protect, maintain and develop the academic standards of the courses and the activities of the college.

(2) (a) Each governing body may by regulations made under this section provide for the membership and terms of office of the academic council.

(b) The majority of members shall be holders of academic appointments within the college and at least one shall be a registered student of the college.

(c) The members appointed to the academic council shall hold office for a period of three years and shall be eligible for reappointment.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) the academic council shall have the following particular functions—

(a) to design, develop and assist in implementing courses of study in accordance with the programmes and budget approved annually under section 13 of this Act and consistent with the functions of the college;

(b) to make recommendations to the governing body for the establishment of appropriate structures to implement the courses of study referred to at paragraph (a) of this subsection;

(c) to make recommendations to the governing body on programmes for research and development work;

(d) to make recommendations to the governing body for the selection, admission, retention and exclusion of students;

(e) be responsible, subject to the approval of the governing body, for making the academic regulations of the college;

(f) to propose to the governing body, subject to the requirements of the National Council for Educational Awards or any university or other authority to which section 5 (1) (b) applies, the form of regulations to be made by the governing body for the conduct of examinations and for the evaluation of academic progress;

(g) to make recommendations to the governing body for the award of scholarships, prizes or other awards;

(h) to make general arrangements for tutorial or other academic counselling;

(i) to exercise any other functions, consistent with this Act, which may be delegated to it by the governing body;

(j) to assist in implementing any regulations which may be made by the governing body concerning any of the matters aforesaid.

(4) The academic council, with the approval of the governing body, may—

(a) establish such and so many committees, consisting either wholly or partly of persons who are not members of the college, as it thinks proper to assist the academic council in the performance of its functions under this Act, and

(b) determine, subject to the provisions of this Act, the functions of any committee established under paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(5) The acts of a committee established under subsection (4) (a) shall be subject to confirmation by the governing body unless the governing body dispenses with the necessity for such confirmation.

(6) Subject to the provisions of this Act and to the directions of the governing body, the academic council may regulate its own procedure.

General provisions in relation to staff.

11.—(1) (a) A college may appoint such and so many persons to be its officers (in addition to the Director) and servants as, subject to the approval of the Minister given with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, the governing body from time to time thinks proper.

(b) The selection of such officers and servants shall be a function of the college in accordance with the procedures which may be determined by the Minister from time to time.

(c) In the case of academic appointments such procedures shall provide that the selection board shall consist mainly of appropriately qualified academics and shall include the Director of the college or a nominee of the Director.

(2) Subject to section 12 of this Act, an officer (including the Director) or servant of a college shall hold office or employment on such terms and conditions as the college, subject to the approval of the Minister given with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, may from time to time determine. Such terms and conditions shall be exercised or imposed by the college or the Director, as may be appropriate, while such officer or servant is in the service of the college.

(3) A college shall not remove any of its officers (including the Director) from office without the consent of the Minister.

(4) A college, subject to the provisions of section 13 of this Act, may appoint suitable persons to research fellowships, research assistantships and other support posts in relation to the offering of services, on a temporary, part-time or contract basis, subject to such conditions as may be laid down by the Minister with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance.

(5) A college may perform such of its functions as the governing body may deem proper through or by any of its officers or servants.

(6) There shall, subject to section 12 of this Act, be paid by a college to officers (including the Director) and servants of the college such remuneration and allowances as the college, subject to the approval of the Minister with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, may from time to time determine.

(7) Officers and servants of the college under this section or under section 9 or 12 of this Act shall, for so long as they remain in an authorised post in a college, be members of the college and are in this Act referred to as “the members of the staff”.

(8) The Local Government (Superannuation) Act, 1980 , shall apply to a college and its officers and servants (including the Director) as if it were a vocational education committee and they were officers and servants of a vocational education committee but subject to any modifications (including modifications to any scheme or regulations made under the said Act of 1980) which may, with the consent of the Minister for the Environment, be specified in an order made by the Minister.

(9) The provisions of sections 105 , 106 and 107 of the Vocational Education Act, 1930 , and sections 7 and 8 of the Vocational Education (Amendment) Act, 1944 , shall apply to officers of a college with the substitution of references to the college for references to the vocational education committee.

Provisions in relation to existing staff.

12.—(1) (a) Every person who, immediately before the establishment date, is employed by a vocational education committee in an institution specified in the First Schedule to this Act or specified in section 3 (1) (b) of this Act or in an educational institution or part of such an institution to which an order made under section 3 (2) or 3 (3) of this Act relates as an officer or servant thereof shall, on the establishment date, become and be an officer or servant of the college as appropriate.

(b) Every person who, immediately before the establishment date, is employed by a vocational education committee and whose work is concerned with the administration of any such institution or part of an institution and who is designated by the Minister for employment by the college shall, with effect from the establishment date, become and be an officer or servant of the college as appropriate.

(c) A person who, at the commencement of this Act, is employed as the Principal or the Director of an institution specified in section 3 (1) (b) of this Act shall, if such person so consents, be Head of one of the schools established by that provision.

(d) A person to whom subsection (1) applies shall not, while in the service of a college, receive less remuneration or be subject to less beneficial conditions of service than the remuneration approved by the Minister with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance to which that person was entitled and the conditions of service approved by the Minister to which that person was subject prior to the establishment date.

(e) The conditions of service, restrictions, requirements and obligations to which any such person was subject immediately before the establishment date shall, unless they are varied by agreement, continue to apply to that person, and shall be exercised or imposed by the college or the Director, as may be appropriate, while that person is in the service of the college.

(2) (a) The college may, following consultation with any recognised staff associations or trade unions concerned, redistribute or rearrange the duties to be performed by officers or servants to whom subsection (1) applies and every such officer or servant shall be bound to perform the duties allocated to that officer or servant in any such redistribution or rearrangement.

(b) A redistribution or rearrangement referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection shall not be taken to be removal from or abolition of office for the purpose of any scheme or enactment relating to superannuation or compensation for loss of office.

Programmes and budget.

13.—(1) The governing body shall, on or before the 1st day of March in each year, prepare and submit to the vocational education committee in such format as may be approved by the Minister from time to time, operational programmes for the next two following academic years (in this section referred to as “the programmes”) together with the relevant budget as proposed by the governing body for the following financial year.

(2) The programmes shall include the proposed staffing structure.

(3) The vocational education committee may, in respect of the programmes and budget submitted to it under this section, either approve of such programmes and budget without modification or following appropriate consultation with the governing body approve of the programmes and budget with such modifications as it thinks fit to make.

(4) The vocational education committee shall on or before the 1st day of May in each year submit to the Minister for approval the programmes and budget as submitted by the governing body together with such modifications as may have been made by the committee.

(5) The Minister may, in respect of the programmes and budget submitted under subsection (4), approve of such programmes and budget with or without modification and subject to such conditions as the Minister may specify.

(6) (a) The programmes and budget shall not come into force until they have been approved by the Minister or until such date as the Minister may specify in such approval.

(b) In the case of a budget, approval shall not be given until after publication of the Estimates for Supply Services for the year in question.

(7) If in the case of any college the programmes and budget as required by this Act are not submitted by the date specified the Minister may, after any necessary consultation, impose programmes and a budget under the terms of this Act and the programmes and budget shall come into force on such date as the Minister shall specify.

(8) When the programmes have come into force and a budget has been approved it shall be a function of the governing body by which such programmes and budget were prepared to carry them into effect as approved. The provisions of this subsection shall also apply to any programmes and budgets imposed by the Minister under subsection (7).

(9) Any material departure from the programmes and budget as approved or imposed by the Minister under this section may take place only with the prior approval of the vocational education committee and the Minister.

(10) A governing body may, with the consent of the vocational education committee and the Minister and the approval of the Minister for Finance, borrow by means of bank overdraft or otherwise money for the purposes of the college.

Annual report and information.

14.—(1) The governing body of a college shall, as soon as may be after the end of each academic year, prepare and submit to the vocational education committee and to the Minister in such form as may be determined by the Minister a report of its proceedings during that year.

(2) The governing body shall supply to the Minister and to the vocational education committee such information regarding the performance of its functions as may from time to time be required.

Grants.

15.—In each year the Minister may, subject to the approval of the Minister for Finance, out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas, make to each college a grant or grants of such amount or amounts as the Minister thinks fit to be spent for the purposes of each college subject to the terms of section 13 of this Act.

Accounts and audits.

16.—(1) The college shall 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 expenditure incurred by it and, in particular, shall keep in such form as may be specified by the Minister such special accounts as the Minister or the vocational education committee with the agreement of the Minister may from time to time direct.

(2) Accounts kept in pursuance of this section shall be submitted annually by the college to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit on a date not later than the 30th day of April in the year following the year to which the accounts relate.

(3) Immediately after the audit a copy of the accounts and of such other accounts, if any, as the Minister or the vocational education committee has directed to be kept, together with a copy of the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon, shall be presented by the college to the vocational education committee and to the Minister.

(4) The Minister shall cause copies of the accounts presented under this section by the college, together with copies of the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon, to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Fees and charges.

17.—The college may charge fees or admission charges and such other charges of such amounts as may from time to time be determined by its governing body subject to such conditions as may be specified by the Minister from time to time for courses, lectures, examinations, exhibitions and other events held at or by the college and for other activities including research, consultancy and development work undertaken by the college.

Transfer of property and liabilities.

18.—(1) All land which, immediately before the establishment date, stood vested in a vocational education committee or the Minister for the purposes of a college or for the purposes of an educational institution or part of such an institution to which an order made under section 3 (3) of this Act relates shall stand vested in the college without any conveyance or assignment and no such property or part thereof or estate or interest therein or right thereover shall be disposed of except with the approval of the Minister, after consultation with the vocational education committee.

(2) On the establishment date, the following shall be and hereby are transferred to the college—

(a) all property (other than land) and rights held or enjoyed immediately before the establishment date by the vocational education committee for or in connection with the functions of the college, or of an educational institution or part of such an institution to which an order made under section 3 (3) of this Act relates,

(b) all liabilities incurred before the establishment date by the vocational education committee for the purposes of or in connection with the college or any such educational institution or part thereof that had not been discharged before the establishment date,

and, accordingly, without any further transfer or assignment—

(i) the said property shall, on the establishment date, vest in the college but subject to all trusts and equities affecting the property and capable of being performed,

(ii) the said rights, shall, on and from the establishment date, be enjoyed by the college,

(iii) the said liabilities shall, on and from the establishment date, be the liabilities of the college.

(3) A college may recover from the vocational education committee such moneys as may be approved by the Minister in respect of liabilities arising under subsection (2) and the vocational education committee shall cause these moneys to be paid to the governing body of the college immediately upon the direction of the Minister.

(4) All moneys, stocks, shares and securities transferred to a college by this section that, immediately before the establishment date are standing in the name of the vocational education committee, shall, upon the request of the governing body of that college, be transferred into its name.

(5) Every right and liability transferred by this section to a college may, on or after the establishment date, be sued on, recovered or enforced by or against the college in its own name and it shall not be necessary for the college to give notice to any person whose right or liability is transferred by this section of the transfer.

(6) In subsections (1) and (2) a reference to a college, in relation to a time before the establishment date, shall be construed as a reference to every institution or part of an institution which from such date comprised or became part of the college.

(7) Section 12 of the Finance Act, 1895 , shall not apply to the vesting in a vocational education committee or a college of any property or right transferred by this section.

(8) Whenever a question arises as to whether land stood vested for the purposes of a college or of an institution or part of an institution to which an order made under section 3 (3) of this Act relates or whenever a question arises with regard to rights and liabilities transferred by this section such question shall be referred by the vocational education committee to the Minister and the decision of the Minister thereon shall be final.

Preservation of contracts and continuance of legal proceedings.

19.—(1) Every contract which was entered into in relation to a college or in relation to an educational institution or part of such an institution to which an order made under section 3 (3) of this Act relates and is in force immediately before the establishment date between the vocational education committee and any person shall continue in force on and after the establishment date, but shall be construed and have effect as if the college were substituted therein for the vocational education committee and every such contract shall be enforceable by or against the college accordingly.

(2) Where, immediately before the establishment date, any legal proceedings are pending to which the vocational education committee is a party and the proceedings have reference to a college or to an educational institution or part of such an institution to which such order relates, the name of the college shall be substituted in the proceedings for that of the vocational education committee and the proceedings shall not abate by reason of such substitution.

(3) This section does not apply to any contract or proceedings in relation to land.

(4) In this section, a reference to a college, in relation to a time before the establishment date, shall be construed in accordance with subsection (6) of section 18 of this Act.

Inspection.

20.—The Minister may authorise inspectors and other officers of the Department of Education and such other persons as the Minister may deem appropriate to report to the Minister on the efficiency of instruction given in a college and on any other matters regarding the operation of a college and such inspectors, officers or other persons, shall be entitled at all reasonable times to enter a college and shall be afforded every facility, including access to all records, to perform their functions by the college.

Modification of section 7(5) of Vocational Education (Amendment) Act, 1944.

21.—(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (5) of section 7 of the Vocational Education (Amendment) Act, 1944 , whenever an officer of a vocational education committee is suspended under section 7 of that Act the committee may, if it thinks fit, make with the consent of the Minister payments ex-gratia to the suspended officer in lieu of the remuneration which, but for that suspension, would have been payable to that officer.

(2) Any sum paid under subsection (1) of this section shall be repayable by the officer to the vocational education committee and may be deducted from any moneys payable by the committee to that officer.

(3) Any sum paid under subsection (1) shall not be reckoned as salary or emolument for the purposes of the Local Government (Superannuation) Act, 1980 .

(4) This section shall apply to officers of a college suspended under this Act as it applies to officers of a vocational education committee with the substitution, in subsection (1), for “the committee may, if it thinks fit,” of “the college may, if its governing body thinks fit,” and, in subsection (2), of references to the college for references to such committee.

Expenses.

22.—The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Regulations.

23.—(1) The Minister may make such regulations with regard to the operation of the colleges as the Minister may from time to time see fit.

(2) Every regulation 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 either such House, within the next twenty-one days on which that House has sat after such regulation is laid before it, passes a resolution annulling the regulation or any part of it, the regulation or such part thereof shall be annulled accordingly but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

Short title.

24.—This Act may be cited as the Regional Technical Colleges Act, 1992.

FIRST SCHEDULE

The Colleges

Section 3 .

Ainm an Choláiste. Name of College.

Institutions amalgamated with College subsequent to its establishment.

Vocational Education Committee in whose functional area the College is situated.

(1)

(2)

(3)

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Baile ?tha Luain.

County Westmeath.

Regional Technical College, Athlone.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Ceatharlach.

County Carlow.

Regional Technical College, Carlow.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réig-iúnach, Corcaigh.

City of Cork.

Regional Technical College, Cork.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Dún Dealgan.

County Louth.

Regional Technical College, Dundalk.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Gaillimh.

City of Galway.

Regional Technical College, Galway.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Leitir Ceanainn.

County Donegal.

Regional Technical College, Letterkenny.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Port Láirge.

City of Waterford.

Regional Technical College, Waterford.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Sligeach.

Town of Sligo.

Regional Technical College, Sligo.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Tamhlacht.

County Dublin.

Regional Technical College, Tallaght.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Trá Lí.

Town of Tralee.

Regional Technical College, Tralee.

Coláiste Teicniúil Réigiúnach, Luimneach.

City of Limerick.

* Regional Technical College, Limerick.

*Formerly known as the Limerick College of Art, Commerce and Technology.

SECOND SCHEDULE

The Governing Body

Section 6 .

1. (1) As soon as may be after its establishment the governing body of a college shall provide and retain in its possession a seal of the college.

(2) The seal of a college shall be authenticated by the signature of the chairman or a member of the governing body authorised by the governing body to act in that behalf and by the signature of an officer of the college authorised to act in that behalf.

(3) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of a college and every document purporting to be an instrument made by a college and to be sealed with the seal (purporting to be authenticated in accordance with this Schedule) of the college shall be received in evidence and shall be deemed to be such instrument without proof unless the contrary is shown.

2. (1) Each governing body shall have a chairman who may be designated by such title as the governing body may determine.

(2) The chairman shall be appointed by the Minister and may be removed from office by the Minister.

(3) The chairman may, at any time, resign from office as chairman by letter addressed to the Minister and the resignation shall take effect from the date on which the letter is received.

(4) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the chairman shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Minister may, at the date of the appointment, decide.

(5) The chairman shall cease to hold office on attaining the age of 70 years.

3. (1) Every ordinary member of a governing body shall be appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the vocational education committee and may be removed from office by the Minister on the recommendation of the vocational education committee.

(2) An ordinary member may, at any time, resign from office as such member by letter addressed to the vocational education committee and the resignation shall take effect from the date on which the letter is received. The vocational education committee shall forthwith notify the Minister of the receipt of the letter.

(3) An ordinary member shall cease to hold office on attaining the age of 70 years.

(4) A member of the governing body who is absent from all meetings of the governing body for a period of six consecutive months, unless such absence was due to illness or was approved by the governing body, shall be disqualified at the expiry of such period from continuing to be a member of the said governing body for the remainder of that person's term of office.

(5) A member (including the chairman) whose term of office expires by effluxion of time shall be eligible for reappointment.

4. (1) A member (including the chairman but excluding an ordinary member who is a registered student of the college) shall hold office for a period not exceeding five years.

(2) An ordinary member who is a registered student of the college shall hold office for a period of one year.

5. (1) Each governing body shall, from time to time as occasion requires, appoint from amongst its members (other than the chairman or the Director) a member to be deputy-chairman thereof.

(2) The deputy-chairman of a governing body shall, unless that member sooner resigns or ceases to be deputy-chairman under subparagraph (3) of this paragraph, hold office until the expiration of that member's period of office as a member of the governing body.

(3) The deputy-chairman, on ceasing to be a member of the governing body, shall thereupon cease to be deputy-chairman.

6. (1) Where a member of a governing body—

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

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

(c) is regarded pursuant to section 13 (inserted by the European Assembly Elections Act, 1984 ) of the European Assembly Elections Act, 1977 , as having been elected to the European Parliament to fill a vacancy, or

(d) is adjudged bankrupt or makes, under the protection orprocedure of a court, a composition or arrangement with creditors, or

(e) is sentenced to a term of imprisonment by a court of competent jurisdiction,

that member shall thereupon cease to be a member of the governing body.

(2) A person shall not be eligible to be a member of a governing body if that person—

(a) is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein, or

(b) is for the time being a member of the European Parliament, or

(c) is an undischarged bankrupt, or

(d) within the immediately preceding three years has, under the protection or procedure of a court, made a composition or arrangement with creditors, or

(e) within the immediately preceding five years, has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment by a court of competent jurisdiction.

7. (1) A member of the governing body of a college who has—

(a) any interest in any company or concern with which the college proposes to make any contract, or

(b) any interest in any contract which the college proposes to make,

shall disclose to the governing body the fact of the interest and the nature thereof and shall take no part in any deliberation or decision of the governing body relating to the contract, and the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the governing body.

(2) A member of the governing body of a college who is related to a person who is a candidate for appointment by the governing body as an officer or servant of the college shall disclose to the governing body the fact of the relationship and the nature thereof and shall, if the governing body so decides, take no part in any deliberation or decision of the governing body relating to the appointment, and the disclosure and decision shall be recorded in the minutes of the governing body.

8. The chairman and ordinary members of the governing body of a college shall be paid out of funds at the disposal of the governing body such remuneration (if any) and such allowances for expenses as the Minister, with the approval of the Minister for Finance, may decide.

9. (a) A governing body shall hold such and so many meetings as may be necessary for the performance of its functions.

(b) The vocational education committee shall fix the date, time and place of the first meeting of the governing body.

(c) The quorum for a meeting of a governing body shall be six members.

10. At a meeting of a governing body—

(a) the chairman shall, if present, be the chairman of the meeting,

(b) if and so long as the chairman is not present or if the office of chairman is vacant, the deputy-chairman shall, if present, be chairman of the meeting,

(c) if and so long as the chairman is not present or the office of chairman is vacant, and the deputy-chairman is not present or the office of deputy-chairman is vacant, the members of the governing body who are present shall choose one of their number to be chairman of the meeting.

11. Every question at a meeting of a governing body shall be determined by a majority of the votes of members present and voting on the question and, in the case of an equal division of votes, the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.

12. Subject to paragraph 9 (c) of this Schedule a governing body may act notwithstanding one or more than one vacancy among its members.

13. Subject to the provisions of this Act a governing body shall regulate, by standing orders or otherwise, its procedure and business.

14. The governing body of a college shall control and conduct the affairs of the college subject to the provisions of this Act and shall carry out all functions assigned to it by this Act, and, in particular, a governing body—

(a) shall determine subject to such directions as the Minister may give from time to time the conditions under which persons shall be admitted to the college and to any particular course of study therein,

(b) shall determine the conditions under which students, having been admitted to the college, may be excluded from it,

(c) may enter into relationships or co-operate with any other institution, authority or body for any purpose of the college,

(d) subject to subparagraph (a) of this paragraph may accept, in fulfilment or partial fulfilment of the requirement for entry to any course of study in the college, attendance by a student at a course or portion of a course in another college or such other institution as the governing body may decide,

(e) subject to the approval of the Minister and to such terms and conditions as the Minister may lay down, may engage such consultants or advisors as it may consider necessary for the performance of its functions and any fees payable to such consultants or advisors shall be paid by the college out of moneys at its disposal, and

(f) may make, from time to time, such regulations as it sees fit for the conduct of the affairs of the college.

THIRD SCHEDULE

The Director

Section 9 .

1. The Director of a college shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, control and direct the activities of the college and shall control and direct the staff of the college in the implementation of such activities and be responsible to the governing body therefor and for the efficient and proper management of the college.

2. The Director of a college shall not hold any other office or position without the consent of the governing body.

3. The Director shall be ex officio a member of the governing body and shall be entitled to be a member of every committee appointed by the governing body.

4. The Director shall be ex officio a member of the academic council and, if present, shall preside at all meetings of that council and shall be entitled to be a member of every committee established by the council.

5. A person who, at the passing of this Act, is employed as the Principal of a college specified in column (1) of the First Schedule to this Act and is still so employed at the commencement of this Act, shall, if such person so consents, be the first Director of that college.

6. A person who is employed as the Principal of an educational institution on its establishment as a college to which this Act applies by order made under section 3 (2) of this Act shall, on such establishment and if such person so consents, be the first Director of that college.