Údarás na Gaeltachta (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 1999

/static/images/base/harp.jpg


Number 27 of 1999


Údarás na Gaeltachta (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 1999


/static/images/base/harp.jpg


Number 27 of 1999


ÚDAR?S NA GAELTACHTA (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) ACT, 1999


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definition.

2.

Amendment of section 2 of Principal Act.

3.

Amendment of section 6 of Principal Act.

4.

Amendment of section 8 of Principal Act.

5.

Amendment of section 10 of Principal Act.

6.

Regional and other committees.

7.

Evaluation Committee.

8.

Membership of Evaluation Committee.

9.

Chief Executive.

10.

Staff of an tÚdarás.

11.

Disclosure of information.

12.

Disclosure of interests.

13.

Membership of either House of Oireachtas or European Parliament of member of staff of an tÚdarás.

14.

Ministerial directions to an tÚdarás.

15.

Constituencies and number of persons to be elected.

16.

Amendment of section 32 of Principal Act.

17.

Amendment of First Schedule to Principal Act.

18.

Repeals.

19.

Short title, commencement and collective citation.


Acts Referred to

Civil Service Regulation Act, 1956

1956, No. 46

Companies Act, 1990

1990, No. 33

European Parliament Elections Act, 1997

1997, No. 2

Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 1956

1956, No. 21

Údarás na Gaeltachta Act, 1979

1979, No. 5

Údarás na Gaeltachta Acts, 1979 to 1999

/static/images/base/harp.jpg


Number 27 of 1999


ÚDAR?S NA GAELTACHTA (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) ACT, 1999


AN ACT TO AMEND AND EXTEND THE ÚDAR?S NA GAELTACHTA ACT, 1979, AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS. [26th October, 1999]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Definition.

1.—In this Act “the Principal Act” means the Udarás na Gaeltachta Act, 1979.

Amendment of section 2 of Principal Act.

2.—Section 2 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion of the following definitions:

“‘the Chief Executive’ has the meaning assigned to it by section 10D;

‘the Evaluation Committee’ means the committee established under section 10B;

‘regional committee’ means a committee established under section 10A(1);”.

Amendment of section 6 of Principal Act.

3.—(1) Section 6 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution of the following subsections for subsection (2):

“(2) An tÚdarás shall consist of a chairperson who shall be appointed by the Minister and 19 other members of whom 17 shall be persons elected in accordance with Part IV of this Act and 2 shall be appointed by the Minister.

(2A) The Minister shall not appoint a person to be the chairperson of an tÚdarás if the person was a candidate at the last election under Part IV of this Act.

(2B) A person appointed as the chairperson of an tÚdarás shall have such special skills or experience as the Minister considers appropriate having regard to the functions of an tÚdarás.”.

(2) An tÚdarás shall be deemed to be validly constituted during the period from the passing of this Act until it is constituted in accordance with section 6(2) (inserted by subsection (1) of this section) of the Principal Act.

Amendment of section 8 of Principal Act.

4.—Section 8 of the Principal Act is hereby amended—

(a) by the deletion in subsection (5) of “, with the consent of the Minister,”, and

(b) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (6):

“(6A) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that for the purposes of this section an tÚdarás shall have power to administer schemes, projects, programmes and other financial facilities requiring the disbursement of funds from an institution of the European Communities or the disbursement of such other funds as the Minister may from time to time, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, approve.”.

Amendment of section 10 of Principal Act.

5.—Section 10 of the Principal Act is hereby amended—

(a) by the substitution of the following subsections for subsection (2):

“(2) Subject to subsection (2A), an tÚdarás shall not without the prior approval of the Government provide, in any particular case, financial assistance of an amount exceeding such amount as the Minister may from time to time, after consultation with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and with the consent of the Minister for Finance, specify.

(2A) An tÚdarás shall not without the prior approval of the Evaluation Committee provide, in any particular case, financial assistance of an amount exceeding such amount (less than that standing specified under subsection (2)) as the Minister may from time to time, after consultation with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and with the consent of the Minister for Finance, specify.”,

(b) by the substitution in subsection (4) of “Enterprise Ireland or the Industrial Development Agency (Ireland)” for “the Industrial Development Authority”, and

(c) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (5):

“(6) A regional committee may in its discretion determine that financial assistance should be provided under subsection (1), in any particular case in its area, of an amount (‘the appropriate amount’) not exceeding such amount (less than that standing specified under subsection (2A)) as the Minister may from time to time specify and, if such a determination is made, an tÚdarás shall provide financial assistance of the appropriate amount in that case.

(7) The conditions mentioned in subsection (1) shall include a condition requiring the promotion, and use, to the greatest extent possible of the Irish language as the principal medium of communication in the industry or scheme of employment concerned.

(8) Where an tÚdarás is considering whether to provide, in any particular case, financial assistance under this section, it shall have regard to whether a condition relating to the promotion and use of the Irish language imposed under subsection (7) or otherwise in that particular case in relation to the provision previously by an tÚdarás of financial assistance has been complied with.”.

Regional and other committees.

6.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion of the following section after section 10:

“10A.—(1) An tÚdarás shall establish a committee (which is referred to in this Act as ‘a regional committee’) for each of the following areas:

(a) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the county of Donegal,

(b) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the counties of Mayo, Galway and Meath, and

(c) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the counties of Kerry, Cork and Waterford.

(2) The members of each regional committee shall be the persons elected as members of an tÚdarás in accordance with Part IV of this Act for the constituency or constituencies, as appropriate, situated in the area of the regional committee concerned.

(3) The quorum for a meeting of a regional committee shall be the lowest majority of the number of members of the regional committee concerned at the time of the meeting.

(4) An tÚdarás may establish other committees to advise and assist it in relation to the performance of any of its functions and may, in relation to any such committee—

(a) specify its functions,

(b) regulate, or authorise it to regulate, its procedure,

(c) determine its composition and appoint persons, including persons who are not members of an tÚdarás or of the staff of an tÚdarás, to be its members,

(d) at any time remove any of its members from office, and

(e) dissolve it.

(5)  (a)  A member of a committee established under subsection (4) shall hold office for such term and subject to such other terms and conditions (other than terms and conditions relating to allowances for expenses) as an tÚdarás may determine when appointing the member.

(b) A member of a committee established under subsection (4) shall be paid by an tÚdarás, out of moneys at its disposal, such allowances for expenses as are payable from time to time to a member of the Evaluation Committee.”.

Evaluation Committee.

7.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion of the following section after section 10A (inserted by this Act):

“10B.—(1) The Minister shall establish a committee (which is referred to in this Act as ‘the Evaluation Committee’).

(2) The quorum for a meeting of the Evaluation Committee shall be three-quarters of the number of members of the committee at the time of the meeting.

(3) Where in a case to which section 10(2A) applies, an tÚdarás is considering whether to provide financial assistance—

(a) the Evaluation Committee shall evaluate the proposal concerned,

(b) the Evaluation Committee shall make recommendations in writing to an tÚdarás on—

(i) the suitability or otherwise of the proposal for the provision of financial assistance by an tÚdarás, and

(ii) the amount (if any) of such assistance,

(c) an tÚdarás shall not provide financial assistance for the proposal if the Evaluation Committee recommends that the proposal is not suitable for the provision of such assistance, and

(d) an tÚdarás shall not provide financial assistance for the proposal of an amount more than that recommended by the Evaluation Committee under paragraph (b)(ii).”.

Membership of Evaluation Committee.

8.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion of the following section after section 10B (inserted by this Act):

“10C.—(1) The Evaluation Committee shall consist of a chairperson and 7 other members appointed by the Minister.

(2) The chairperson of an tÚdarás shall be the chairperson of the Evaluation Committee.

(3) The other members of the Evaluation Committee shall be the following:

(a) 3 members of an tÚdarás who are nominated by the members of an tÚdarás elected under Part IV of this Act following each election under that Part,

(b) the Chief Executive or a member of the staff of an tÚdarás nominated by the Chief Executive,

(c) an officer of the Minister who is an established civil servant within the meaning of the Civil Service Regulation Act, 1956 , and

(d) a representative of each of the following bodies:

(i) the Industrial Development Agency (Ireland), and

(ii) Enterprise Ireland,

nominated by the body concerned.

(4) (a) A member of the Evaluation Committee shall hold office for such term and subject to such other terms and conditions (other than terms and conditions relating to allowances for expenses) as the Minister may determine when appointing the member.

(b) A member of the Evaluation Committee shall be paid by an tÚdarás, out of moneys at its disposal, such allowances for expenses as the Minister may from time to time, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determine.

(5) The members of the Evaluation Committee shall be competent to conduct the business of the Committee in the Irish language.”.

Chief Executive.

9.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion of the following section after section 10C (inserted by this Act):

“10D.—(1) There shall be a chief executive officer of an tÚdarás who shall be known, and is referred to in this Act, as the Chief Executive.

(2) The Chief Executive shall be appointed by an tÚdarás.

(3) The Chief Executive shall carry on and manage, and control generally, the administration and business of an tÚdarás and shall perform such other functions (if any) as may be determined by an tÚdarás.

(4) The Chief Executive shall not hold any office, or occupy any other position, in respect of which emoluments are payable without the consent of an tÚdarás.”.

Staff of an tÚdarás.

10.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution of the following section for section 12:

“12.—(1) An tÚdarás shall, with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Finance—

(a) appoint such and so many persons to be members of the staff of an tÚdarás (other than the Chief Executive) as it may from time to time determine, and

(b) determine the grades of such staff of an tÚdarás as aforesaid and the number of staff in each grade.

(2) The terms and conditions of service, including terms and conditions relating to remuneration, and allowances for expenses, (which shall be paid by an tÚdarás out of moneys at its disposal), of the members of the staff of an tÚdarás shall be such as an tÚdarás may from time to time, with the approval of the Minister given with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determine.

(3) An tÚdarás shall, in determining the remuneration or allowances for expenses to be paid to the members of its staff or the other terms or conditions subject to which the members of its staff hold or are to hold their employment, have regard to Government or nationally agreed guidelines for the time being extant or to Government policy concerning remuneration and conditions of employment which is so extant.

(4) An tÚdarás may at any time remove any member of the staff of an tÚdarás from being a member of its staff.

(5) Subject to subsection (2), a person who immediately before the commencement of section 10 of the Údarás na Gaeltachta (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 1999, was a member of the staff of an tÚdarás shall on and after such commencement continue to hold his or her employment with an tÚdarás on the terms and conditions of service on which he or she held it before such commencement.”.

Disclosure of information.

11.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution of the following section for section 15:

“15.—(1) A person shall not, unless authorised by an tÚdarás or required by law, disclose confidential information obtained by him or her in his or her capacity, or while performing duties, as any of the following:

(a) a member of an tÚdarás or of a committee or subcommittee of an tÚdarás,

(b) a member of the staff of an tÚdarás,

(c) a consultant or adviser engaged by an tÚdarás, or an employee of such a consultant or adviser, or

(d) a person engaged by an tÚdarás in any other capacity.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) shall prevent the disclosure of information in a report to an tÚdarás or on behalf of an tÚdarás to the Minister.

(4) In this section ‘confidential information’ includes—

(a) information that is expressed by an tÚdarás to be confidential either as regards particular information or as regards information of a particular class or description, and

(b) information relating to proposals of a commercial nature or to tenders submitted to an tÚdarás by contractors, consultants or any other person.”.

Disclosure of interests.

12.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion of the following section after section 15:

“15A.—(1) Where at a meeting of an tÚdarás or of a committee or subcommittee of an tÚdarás either of the following matters arises, namely—

(a) an arrangement to which an tÚdarás is a party or a proposed such arrangement, or

(b) a contract or other agreement with an tÚdarás or a proposed such contract or other agreement,

then, a member of an tÚdarás or of a committee or subcommittee of an tÚdarás who otherwise than in his or her capacity as such a member has a pecuniary or other beneficial interest in, or material to, the matter shall—

(i) disclose to an tÚdarás, the committee or the subcommittee, as the case may be, the fact of his or her interest and the nature thereof,

(ii) absent himself or herself from the meeting or that part of the meeting during which the matter is discussed,

(iii) take no part in any deliberations of an tÚdarás, the committee or the subcommittee, as the case may be, relating to the matter,

(iv) neither influence nor seek to influence a decision to be made in relation to the matter, and

(v) not vote on a decision relating to the matter.

(2) Where a disclosure of an interest is made to an tÚdarás or a committee or subcommittee of an tÚdarás pursuant to subsection (1), the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting concerned and for so long as the matter to which the disclosure relates is being dealt with by the meeting, the person by whom the disclosure is made shall not be counted in the quorum for the meeting.

(3) Where a question arises as to whether or not a course of conduct pursued or to be pursued by a person is or would constitute a failure by him or her to comply with the requirements of subsection (1), the question shall be determined by an tÚdarás, the committee or the subcommittee concerned, as the case may be, and particulars of the determination shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting concerned.

(4) A member of the staff of an tÚdarás or a consultant or adviser engaged by an tÚdarás who otherwise than in his or her capacity as such a member, consultant or adviser, as the case may be, has a pecuniary or other beneficial interest in, or material to, a matter specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (1) shall—

(a) disclose to an tÚdarás the fact of his or her interest and the nature thereof,

(b) take no part in any deliberations of an tÚdarás or the members of its staff relating to the matter, and

(c) neither influence nor seek to influence a decision to be made in relation to the matter.

(5) For the purposes of this section, but without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) or (4), a person shall be regarded as having a beneficial interest in a matter if—

(a) he or she or a member of his or her household, or a nominee of his or hers or of a member of his or her household, is a member of a company or any other body which has a beneficial interest in, or material to, the matter,

(b) he or she or a member of his or her household is in partnership with a person, or is in the employment of a person, company or other undertaking, who has a beneficial interest in, or material to, the matter,

(c) he or she or a member of his or her household is a party to an arrangement or agreement (whether or not enforceable) concerning land to which the matter relates, or

(d) a member of his or her household has a beneficial interest in, or material to, the matter.

(6) For the purposes of this section a person shall not be regarded as having a beneficial interest in, or material to, a matter by reason only of an interest of his or hers, or of any person, company, body or undertaking mentioned in subsection (5), which is so remote or insignificant that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence the person in discussing or voting on any question with respect to the matter or in performing any function relating to the matter.

(7) A person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.”.

Membership of either House of Oireachtas or European Parliament of member of staff of an tÚdarás.

13.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution of the following section for section 16:

“16.—(1) Where a member of the staff of an tÚdarás is—

(a) nominated as a member of Seanad éireann,

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

(c) regarded pursuant to section 19 of the European Parliament Elections Act, 1997 , as having been elected to the European Parliament,

he or she shall thereupon stand seconded from employment by an tÚdarás and shall not be paid by, or be entitled to receive from, an tÚdarás any remuneration or allowances for expenses 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 a representative in such Parliament.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), that subsection shall be construed as prohibiting the reckoning of a period therein mentioned as service with an tÚdarás for the purposes of any superannuation allowance.

(3) 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 representative in the European Parliament shall, while he or she is so entitled or is such a representative, be disqualified for being a member of the staff of an tÚdarás.”.

Ministerial directions to an tÚdarás.

14.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion of the following section after section 20:

“20A.—(1) The Minister may give such directions in writing to an tÚdarás as the Minister considers appropriate as to general policy.

(2) A direction under subsection (1) shall not apply solely to a single industrial undertaking or to a single productive scheme of employment, and such a direction shall not give preference to one area of the Gaeltacht over another such area with regard to the location of such an undertaking or scheme.

(3) An tÚdarás shall, in its annual report, set out the text of a direction under subsection (1) and the action taken by it for the purpose of complying with such a direction.

(4) The Minister may give such directions in writing to an tÚdarás as the Minister considers appropriate with regard to all or any of the following:

(a) the incurring of expenditure by an tÚdarás in the performance of its functions,

(b) the provision by an tÚdarás of financial assistance under section 10,

(c) the disposal by an tÚdarás of land, buildings, premises or plant,

(d) the sale by an tÚdarás of shares in a body corporate.

(5) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, give such directions in writing to an tÚdarás as the Minister considers appropriate with regard to all or any of the terms and conditions referred to in section 12(2).

(6) The Minister may give such directions in writing to an tÚdarás as the Minister considers appropriate with regard to the functions of an tÚdarás specified in section 8(1).

(7) An tÚdarás shall comply with a direction under this section.

(8) An instruction by whatever name called with regard to any matter referred to in subsection (4) or (5) given by the Minister to an tÚdarás before the commencement of this section shall be deemed to have been given under that subsection upon such commencement.”.

Constituencies and number of persons to be elected.

15.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution of the following section for section 29:

“29.—(1) Each of the following areas shall be a constituency for the purposes of this Part:

(a) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the county of Donegal,

(b) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the county of Mayo,

(c) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the county of Galway,

(d) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the county of Meath,

(e) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the county of Kerry,

(f) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the county of Cork, and

(g) the area comprising those parts of the Gaeltacht situated in the county of Waterford.

(2) In an election—

(a) the constituency specified in subsection (1)(a) shall return 4 persons,

(b) the constituency specified in subsection (1)(b) shall return 2 persons,

(c) the constituency specified in subsection (1)(c) shall return 6 persons,

(d) the constituency specified in subsection (1)(d) shall return one person,

(e) the constituency specified in subsection (1)(e) shall return 2 persons,

(f) the constituency specified in subsection (1)(f) shall return one person, and

(g) the constituency specified in subsection (1)(g) shall return one person.”.

Amendment of section 32 of Principal Act.

16.—Section 32 of the Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution in subsection (1) of “person or persons, as may be appropriate, elected for that constituency” for “persons elected for that constituency”.

Amendment of First Schedule to Principal Act.

17.—The First Schedule to the Principal Act is hereby amended—

(a) in paragraph 2—

(i) by the insertion in subparagraph (a) of “and six months” after “five years”, and

(ii) by the insertion in subparagraph (b)(ii) of “or that constituency as altered by virtue of an order under section 2 of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 1956 ” after “for such constituency”,

(b) in paragraph 7—

(i) by the substitution of the following subparagraph for subparagraph (2):

“(2) A member of an tÚdarás shall be disqualified for holding and shall cease to hold office if he or she—

(a) is adjudged bankrupt or makes a composition with his or her creditors,

(b) is convicted of an indictable offence in relation to a company,

(c) is convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, whether in relation to a company or not,

(d) is the subject of an order under section 160 of the Companies Act, 1990 ,

(e) is undergoing a sentence of imprisonment for any term exceeding 6 months imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction in the State,

(f) ceases to be ordinarily resident in the State,

(g) is convicted of an offence under section 15, or

(h) is convicted of an offence under section 15A.”,

and

(ii) by the substitution of the following subparagraphs for subparagraphs (3) and (4):

“(3) Where a member (other than an elected member) of an tÚdarás is—

(a) nominated as a member of Seanad éireann,

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

(c) regarded pursuant to section 19 of the European Parliament Elections Act, 1997 , as having been elected to the European Parliament,

he or she shall thereupon cease to be a member of an tÚdarás.

(4) 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 representative in the European Parliament shall, while he or she is so entitled or is such a representative, be disqualified for being a member (other than an elected member) of an tÚdarás.”.

and

(c) by the substitution in paragraph 11 of “any committee (being a regional committee or other committee established under section 10A or the Evaluation Committee) or subcommittee of an tÚdarás” for “any sub-committee of an tÚdarás”.

Repeals.

18.—Sections 10(3) and 11 of, and paragraph 8 of the First Schedule to, the Principal Act are hereby repealed.

Short title, commencement and collective citation.

19.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Údarás na Gaeltachta (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 1999.

(2) Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 17(c) and 18, in so far as it provides for the repeal of section 10(3) of the Principal Act, of this Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands may appoint by order or orders either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes or different provisions.

(3) The collective citation “the Údarás na Gaeltachta Acts, 1979 to 1999” shall include this Act.