Dáil Éireann - Volume 552 - 23 April, 2002
Written Answers. - Civil Service Code.
Proinsias De Rossa Proinsias De Rossa
47. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding proposed regulations to restrict positions that can be taken up by civil servants on leaving the public service or to place or to set a time period during which positions could not be taken up; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12402/02]
Mr. McCreevy Mr. McCreevy
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): The draft Civil Service code of standards and behaviour includes provisions which are aimed at avoiding a conflict of interest where officials accept an outside appointment or consultancy engagement within 12 months following resignation or retirement from the Civil Service. The draft code was approved by Government on 21 November 2000 and referred to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance and Public Service on 5 December 2000. Officials from my Department made a presentation to the committee on 13 March 2001.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee has not yet completed its deliberations on the code. They have indicated that they wish to receive a presentation from the civil service unions before finalising their deliberations. In fact the committee is currently awaiting a response from the unions about a possible date for their presentation.
Under section 20 of the draft code, senior civil servants may not take up an outside appointment or consultancy where they believe a possible conflict of interest could exist, without first getting approval from the “appropriate authority”. The  appropriate authority in the case of officials below assistant secretary level is the head of the Department or office. In the case of staff at or above assistant secretary level, applications must be submitted to the proposed outside appointments board. The outside appointments board, when established by the Minister for Finance, will consist of the Secretary General, public service management and development, in the Department of Finance, the Secretary General to the Government, and three other members, who will not be civil servants or former civil servants, one of whom will act as chairman. The board will set down guidelines for civil servants to assist them in deciding if they need apply for approval and will outline the detailed basis on which applications will be assessed. Applications will be considered on the basis of identifying if a clear conflict of interest exists. Approval to take up an appointment or accept a particular consultancy engagement may either be unqualified or conditions may be attached.
Dáil Éireann 552 Written Answers. Civil Service Code.