Wednesday, 1 June 2005
Grangegorman Development Agency Bill 2004: Report Stage (Resumed).
Joe Costello (Dublin Central, Labour)
I support the amendment. Section 16 provides that a member of the agency may be removed if it appears to the Minister to be necessary for the effective performance of the agency. Strengthening the provision by using the phrase "can be demonstrated" would be beneficial for all concerned, including the Minister. It might obviate the need for legal action later on.
I also wholeheartedly support amendment No. 81. How the consultative group is treated in this section leaves much to be desired. Subsection (4) states: "A member of the Consultative Group appointed under subsection (3) may be removed from such membership at any time by the Agency." The agency may also dissolve the consultative group without any caveat or condition. The two subsections are high handed in their treatment of the consultative group. That group is supposed to be part of the more generous approach in the legislation to involving people. It is intended to be proactive legislation that will ensure various opinions are taken into consideration. However, if the agency can dispense with the consultative group in this high handed fashion, it leaves much to be desired. It would be better if both subsections were deleted.