Dáil Éireann - Volume 490 - 23 April, 1998

Written Answers - Departmental Appointments.

29. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food the criteria he applies to selecting [96] membership of various fora, committees and working groups attached to his Department; the procedures, if any, he will put in place for other interested parties to apply for membership; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9429/98]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): My Department has established a number of diverse fora, committees and working groups. Membership is selected or invited on the basis of knowledge, experience, interest and a willingness and ability to contribute to the task and objectives of the group generally following consultation with representative organisations. This can include the social partners, State agencies, academic institutions as well as voluntary and community groups, including consumer interests as appropriate. Membership of groups is based on the need to ensure a representative cross-section of the various interests involved, while keeping numbers within manageable proportions.