Dáil debates

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Technological Universities Bill 2015: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage

 

Debate resumed on amendment No. 16:

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 32; Níl, 33; Staon, 27.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Kathleen Funchion and Eamon Ryan; Níl, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin.

Amendment declared lost.

7:55 pm

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Ceann Comhairle; Kildare South, Ceann Comhairle)
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Amendment No. 17 is in the name of Deputy Catherine Martin. It arises out of committee proceedings. Amendments Nos. 17 and 18 are related and will be discussed together.

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I move amendment No. 17:

In page 15, line 25, to delete “2” and substitute “3”.

I recall that the Ceann Comhairle was on a school board himself and most of us here probably have such provisions. I am sure we are all up to speed on the changes taking place in our education system. We are really looking to involve students in decision-making and parent councils and student councils are at the centre of everything we do. This amendment reflects that. It is a very simple amendment. It agrees with the provision in section 12(1)(f) but rather than restricting us to one or two students on the governing body of a technological university, we are saying we should have the flexibility of including up to three. It would give students greater representation and a greater say. That is in tune with what will work best in our education system and is respectful of students and participation. We ask the Minister to consider that small but not insignificant flexibility to provide for that greater involvement of the student population in the new technological universities.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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Amendment No. 17 proposed by Deputy Martin seeks to increase the membership of the governing body of a technological university by increasing by one the possible maximum number of undergraduate members. Internationally, the size and composition of governing authorities of higher education institutions have been changing. The model generally favoured is a more managerial one with a smaller number of members and a majority of non-academic lay people.

The OECD report on higher education was critical of the size of Irish university governing authorities and recommended that they be reduced in size and their membership reflect the skill set required to govern a university. The Bill seeks to streamline the membership of governing bodies depending on the number of institutes of technology comprise the technological university. The seeking of additional members for any particular grouping, students or otherwise, would increase total membership. Students may be represented on boards by up to three members including a postgraduate student member. I consider this number reasonable relative to the size and composition of the governing boards. Therefore, I do not intend to accept this amendment.

8:00 pm

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I agree with the Minister that we need to be careful about the size of governing boards. I might consider that a board of 22 members, as provided for in the legislation, is probably too large. There is a reason that football teams are 15 in number. Given that there is provision for that scale, I return to the example where one might have three students on a board of 21 members, which would not be excessive. I continue to make the case, but I hear the Minister's response.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I move amendment No. 18:

In page 15, line 33, after “purpose” to insert the following:“and at least one is a local elected public representative or a member of the community, representing local interests such as social, environmental, creative and cultural interests, elected by members of the local Public Participation Network”.

Amendment put and declared lost.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Ceann Comhairle; Kildare South, Ceann Comhairle)
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Amendments Nos. 19 to 21 are out of order.

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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Those amendments are in my name. They relate to the membership of the governing body of the technological university. They are similar to previous amendments which were allowed and I do not understand why my amendments have been disallowed. I am asking for one external member nominated by the Minister following consultation with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and so on. I do not understand why this is out of order when the others are not.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Ceann Comhairle; Kildare South, Ceann Comhairle)
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The note that I have before me states that amendment Nos. 19 to 21, inclusive, form a composite proposal and seek to add to the membership of the governing body. As members will receive a fee and expenses, the amendments could impose a charge on the Exchequer and must be ruled out of order in accordance with Standing Order 179(3).

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick City, Labour)
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Is it not the case that the other amendments add people to the governing body? I do not understand.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Ceann Comhairle; Kildare South, Ceann Comhairle)
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The Deputy's point is valid.

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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I will not criticise the Ceann Comhairle for this but, with respect, that is an interpretation of the charge on the Exchequer ruling brought to an extreme.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Ceann Comhairle; Kildare South, Ceann Comhairle)
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Does anyone else wish to contribute? The amendments are out of order.

Amendments Nos. 19 to 21, inclusive, not moved.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 22:

In page 18, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:“Superannuation of staff of Technological University

15. (1) Subject to section 48 of the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012, a pensionable public servant who—
(a) is not a member of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme, and

(b) is appointed under section 13 or 14 to be a member of staff of a technological university, shall, on his or her appointment to the technological university concerned, become and be a member of the Education Sector Superannuation Scheme 2015 or the ESSS 2015 (S.I. No. 290 of 2015) in accordance with its terms and conditions.

(2) Nothing in this section shall prevent the Education Sector Superannuation Scheme 2015 or the ESSS 2015 being varied in accordance with its terms and conditions.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Kathleen FunchionKathleen Funchion (Carlow-Kilkenny, Sinn Fein)
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I move amendment No. 23:

In page 19, to delete lines 9 and 10 and substitute the following:“(iii) not less than 4 or 10 per cent (whichever is greater) of student representatives of the technological university, nominated by the students’ union, in accordance with its own procedures,”.

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 31; Níl, 36; Staon, 19.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Kathleen Funchion; Níl, Deputies Joe McHugh and Tony McLoughlin.

Amendment declared lost.

8:05 pm

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 24:

In page 20, line 2, to delete "professions and related stakeholders" and substitute "professions, the community, local interests and related stakeholders".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 25:

In page 20, to delete lines 21 and 22 and substitute the following:"(4) In subsection (3)
"involvement" shall be construed in accordance with section 9(8);

"programme" means a programme of education and training.".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 26:

In page 21, line 5, to delete "citizens" and substitute "individuals".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 27:

In page 21, lines 5 and 6, to delete "the professions, the community" and substitute "the professions, the community, local interests".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 28:

In page 21, line 9, to delete "links" and substitute "links, and links supporting creativity,".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 29:

In page 23, line 24, to delete "An tÚdarás may, from time to time with the approval of the Minister," and substitute "An tÚdarás shall, from time to time with the approval of the Minister, given with the consent of".

Amendment agreed to.

8:15 pm

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 30:

In page 23, to delete lines 35 and 36 and substitute the following:"(d) the requirement for a technological university to obtain the prior approval of An tÚdarás, which approval shall be subject to the consent of the Minister and which consent is subject to the prior consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and the Minister for Finance, before borrowing, guaranteeing or underwriting,”

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 31:

In page 23, line 38, to delete "subsection (1)." and substitute "subsection (1), and".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 32:

In page 23, between lines 38 and 39, to insert the following:"(f) the requirement to comply with the provisions of section 67 of the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 33:

In page 25, between lines 24 and 25, to insert the following:"CHAPTER 8

Investigation and informationInvestigator and report

25.(1) Following consultation with An tÚdarás, the Minister may appoint a person (in this section referred to as an "investigator”) to carry out an investigation into any matter specified in writing by the Minister concerning the performance by a technological university of its functions.

(2) The Minister shall by notice in writing inform the governing body of his or her proposal to appoint an investigator under subsection (1)and the matter to be investigated.

(3) A notice under subsection (2)shall state that the governing body may make representations to the Minister in relation to the proposed appointment not later than 14 days after the giving of the notice to the governing body.

(4) The Minister shall consider any representations made pursuant to subsection (3) before making an appointment under subsection (1).

(5) An investigator shall be entitled at all reasonable times to enter any premises occupied by the technological university and shall be afforded every facility and cooperation, including access to equipment and records, as the investigator may require to perform his or her functions under this section, by the following:
(a) the president;

(b) a member of the governing body;

(c) an employee of the technological university;

(d) a contractor appointed by the technological university to perform any function on its behalf and an employee of that contractor;

(e) a consultant or advisor appointed by the technological university.
(6) Each person referred to in paragraphs (a) to(e) of subsection (5)shall comply with a request of the investigator to provide such information and assistance as the investigator may reasonably require for the purposes of the investigation.

(7) As soon as practicable after the investigation, the investigator shall prepare a draft of the report on the investigation that he or she proposes to furnish to the Minister (in this section referred to as the "draft report”).

(8) The investigator shall furnish the draft report to the Minister, An tÚdarás and the governing body and may furnish the draft report, or part of the draft report, to any other person as he or she considers necessary and shall give notice to the Minister, An tÚdarás, the governing body and such other person, that they may make representations to the investigator concerning the draft report or, as the case may be, part of the draft report, not later than 28 days after it is furnished to them.

(9) As soon as practicable after the expiration of the 28 days referred to in subsection (8)and, having considered any representations made pursuant to that subsection, the investigator may amend the draft report and shall furnish the final report on the investigation to the Minister and An tÚdarás.

(10) In this section "records” means any document, or any other written or printed material in any form, including information stored, maintained or preserved by means of any mechanical or electronic device, whether or not stored, maintained or preserved in a legible form.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 34:

In page 25, between lines 24 and 25, to insert the following:"Information requested by Minister

26.(1) A governing body shall furnish to the Minister any information requested by the Minister concerning the performance by a technological university of its functions.

(2) The Minister shall not request information under subsection (1)in respect of a matter specified by the Minister under section 25(1), during the period beginning on the appointment of the investigator under section 25to investigate the matter and ending when the final report on the matter is furnished under section 25(9).

(3) The Minister may provide information furnished to him or her under subsection (1) to an investigator for the time being appointed under section 25.".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 35:

In page 26, line 5, to delete "professions, the community" and substitute "professions, the community, local interests".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 36:

In page 27, line 17, to delete "the professions, the community” and substitute "the professions, the community, local interests”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 37:

In page 27, lines 36 and 37, to delete "the professions, the community” and substitute "the professions, the community, local interests”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 38:

In page 28, lines 6, to delete "professions, the community" and substitute "professions, the community, local interests".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 39:

In page 28, line 15, to delete "the” where it firstly occurs.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 40:

In page 28, line 21, to delete "links" and substitute "links, and links supporting creativity,".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 41:

In page 30, between lines 34 and 35, to insert the following:
"(2) When considering the report, views and information under section 30and the application and information under section 26in accordance with subsection (1), the Minister shall have regard to the following matters:
(a) if the needs of students, business, enterprise, the professions, the community, local interests and other stakeholders in the region in which the campuses of the applicant institutes are located would be more efficiently and effectively served by the proposed technological university;

(b) if the projected demand, based on demographic trends, for higher education in the region in which the campuses of the applicant institutes are located would justify the making of the order under section 33;

(c) if sufficient financial resources are available to the applicant institutes to meet projected costs arising on the making of the order under section 33;

(d) if the proposed technological university would be financially viable if the order under section 33were made;

(e) if making the order under section 33would comply with such policies of the Government as relate to higher education.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 42:

In page 34, line 22, to delete "the professions and" and substitute "the professions, the community, local interests and".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 43:

In page 42, to delete lines 1 to 8.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 44:

In page 42, line 9, to delete "prevents" and substitute "shall prevent".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 45:

In page 42, to delete lines 11 to 14 and substitute the following:"(3) In this section "relevant superannuation scheme” means, as the case may be—”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 46:

In page 42, lines 15 and 16, to delete "(S.I. No. 290 of 2015)".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 47:

In page 50, line 10, to delete "11" and substitute "12".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 48:

In page 54, between lines 26 and 27, to insert the following:"Amendment of section 15 of Dublin Institute of Technology Act 1992

71.Section 15 of the Dublin Institute of Technology Act 1992 is amended—
(a) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (2):
"(2A) The Minister and An tÚdarás shall not require the supply of information under subsection (2) and An tÚdarás shall not require the supply of information under subsection (3), in respect of a matter specified by the Minister under section 21(1), during the period beginning on the appointment of the investigator under section 21 to investigate the matter and ending when the final report on the matter is furnished under section 21(9).”,
and

(b) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (3):
"(4) The Minister may provide information supplied to him under subsection (2) to an investigator for the time being appointed under section 21.".".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 49:

In page 54, to delete lines 27 to 40, and in page 55, to delete lines 1 to 14 and substitute the following:"Investigator and report

72.The Dublin Institute of Technology Act 1992 is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 21:
"21. (1) Following consultation with An tÚdarás, the Minister may appoint a person (in this section referred to as an "investigator”) to carry out an investigation into any matter specified in writing by the Minister concerning the performance by the Institute or the Governing Body of its functions.

(2) The Minister shall by notice in writing inform the Governing Body of his or her proposal to appoint an investigator under subsection (1) and the matter to be investigated.

(3) A notice under subsection (2) shall state that the Governing Body may make representations to the Minister in relation to the proposed appointment not later than 14 days after the giving of the notice to the Governing Body.

(4) The Minister shall consider any representations made pursuant to subsection (3) before making an appointment under subsection (1).

(5) An investigator shall be entitled at all reasonable times to enter any premises occupied by the Institute and shall be afforded every facility and cooperation, including access to equipment and records as the investigator may require to perform his or her functions under this section, by the following:
(a) the President;

(b) a Director;

(c) a member of the Governing Body;

(d) an employee of the Institute;

(e) a contractor appointed by the Institute to perform any function on its behalf and an employee of that contractor;

(f) a consultant or advisor appointed by the Institute.
(6) Each person referred to in paragraphs (a) to (f) of subsection (5) shall comply with a request of the investigator to provide such information and assistance as the investigator may reasonably require for the purposes of the investigation.

(7) As soon as practicable after the investigation, the investigator shall prepare a draft of the report on the investigation that he or she proposes to furnish to the Minister (in this section referred to as the "draft report”).

(8) The investigator shall furnish the draft report to the Minister, An tÚdarás and the Governing Body and may furnish the draft report, or part of the draft report, to any other person as he or she considers necessary and shall give notice to the Minister, An tÚdarás, the Governing Body and such other person, that they may make representations to the investigator concerning the draft report or, as the case may be, part of the draft report, not later than 28 days after it is furnished to them.

(9) As soon as practicable after the expiration of the 28 days referred to in subsection (8) and, having considered any representations made pursuant to that subsection, the investigator may amend the draft report and shall furnish the final report on the investigation to the Minister and An tÚdarás.

(10) In this section "records” means any document, or any other written or printed material in any form, including information stored, maintained or preserved by means of any mechanical or electronic device, whether or not stored, maintained or preserved in a legible form.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 50:

In page 62, line 36, to delete "11" and substitute "12".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 51:

In page 68, between lines 31 and 32, to insert the following:"Amendment of section 14 of Act of 1992

85.Section 14 of the Act of 1992 is amended—
(a) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (2):
"(2A) The Minister and An tÚdarás shall not require the supply of information under subsection (2) and An tÚdarás shall not require the supply of information under subsection (3), in respect of a matter specified by the Minister under section 20(1), during the period beginning on the appointment of the investigator under section 20 to investigate the matter and ending when the final report on the matter is furnished under section 21(9).”,
and

(b) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (3):
"(4) The Minister may provide information supplied to him under subsection (2) to an investigator for the time being appointed under section 20.".".

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 52:

In page 68, to delete lines 32 to 40, and in page 69, to delete lines 1 to 18 and substitute the following:"Investigator and report

86.The Act of 1992 is amended by the substitution of the following section for section 20:
"20.(1) Following consultation with An tÚdarás, the Minister may appoint a person (in this section referred to as an "investigator”) to carry out an investigation into any matter specified in writing by the Minister concerning the performance by a college or its governing body of its functions.

(2) The Minister shall by notice in writing inform the governing body of his or her proposal to appoint an investigator under subsection (1) and the matter to be investigated.

(3) A notice under subsection (2) shall state that the governing body may make representations to the Minister in relation to the proposed appointment not later than 14 days after the giving of the notice to the governing body.

(4) The Minister shall consider any representations made pursuant to subsection (3) before making an appointment under subsection (1).

(5) An investigator shall be entitled at all reasonable times to enter any premises occupied by a college and shall be afforded every facility and cooperation, including access to equipment and records as the investigator may require to perform his or her functions under this section, by the following:
(a) the Director;

(b) a member of the governing body;

(c) an employee of the college;

(d) a contractor appointed by the college to perform any function on its behalf and an employee of that contractor;

(e) a consultant or advisor appointed by the college.
(6) Each person referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e) of subsection (5) shall comply with a request of the investigator to provide such information and assistance as the investigator may reasonably require for the purposes of the investigation.

(7) As soon as practicable after the investigation, the investigator shall prepare a draft of the report on the investigation that he or she proposes to furnish to the Minister (in this section referred to as the "draft report”).

(8) The investigator shall furnish the draft report to the Minister, An tÚdarás and the governing body and may furnish the draft report, or part of the draft report, to any other person as he or she considers necessary and shall give notice to the Minister, An tÚdarás, the governing body and such other person, that they may make representations to the investigator concerning the draft report or, as the case may be, part of the draft report, not later than 28 days after it is furnished to them.

(9) As soon as practicable after the expiration of the 28 days referred to in subsection (8) and, having considered any representations made pursuant to that subsection, the investigator may amend the draft report and shall furnish the final report on the investigation to the Minister and An tÚdarás.

(10) In this section "records” means any document, or any other written or printed material in any form, including information stored, maintained or preserved by means of any mechanical or electronic device, whether or not stored, maintained or preserved in a legible form.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Ceann Comhairle; Kildare South, Ceann Comhairle)
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Amendment No. 53 is in the name of Deputy Thomas Byrne. It has been ruled out of order.

Amendment No. 53 not moved.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 54:

In page 77, after line 2, to insert the following:

"PART 7

AMENDMENT OF CERTAIN ENACTMENTS TO PROVIDE FOR INVESTIGATION AND INFORMATION

CHAPTER 1

Amendment of Act of 1940

Investigator and report

93.The Act of 1940 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 29:
"29A.(1) Following consultation with An tÚdarás, the Minister may appoint a person (in this section referred to as an "investigator”) to carry out an investigation into any matter specified in writing by the Minister concerning the performance by the Institute or as the case may be, a Constituent School of its functions.

(2) The Minister shall by notice in writing inform the Council, or, if applicable, the Governing Board of a Constituent School of his or her proposal to appoint an investigator under subsection (1) and the matter to be investigated.

(3) A notice under subsection (2) shall state that the Council or, if applicable, the Governing Board of a Constituent School may make representations to the Minister in relation to the proposed appointment not later than 14 days after the giving of the notice to the governing body.

(4) The Minister shall consider any representations made pursuant to subsection (3) before making an appointment under subsection (1).

(5) An investigator shall be entitled at all reasonable times to enter any premises occupied by the Institute or, if required, a Constituent School and shall be afforded every facility and cooperation, including access to equipment and records as the investigator may require to perform his or her functions under this section, by the following:
(a) the Registrar;

(b) a member of the Council;

(c) a member of the Governing Board of a Constituent School;

(d) a Director of a Constituent School;

(e) an employee of the Institute or a Constituent School;

(f) a contractor appointed by the Institute or a Constituent School to perform any function on its behalf and an employee of that contractor;

(g) a consultant or advisor appointed by the Institute or a Constituent School.
(6) Each person referred to in paragraphs (a) to (g) of subsection (5) shall comply with a request of the investigator to provide such information and assistance as the investigator may reasonably require for the purposes of the investigation.

(7) As soon as practicable after the investigation, the investigator shall prepare a draft of the report on the investigation that he or she proposes to furnish to the Minister (in this section referred to as the "draft report”).

(8) The investigator shall furnish the draft report to the Minister, An tÚdarás, the Institute and, if applicable a Constituent School and may furnish the draft report, or part of the draft report, to any other person as he or she considers necessary and shall give notice to the Minister, An tÚdarás, the Institute, a Constituent School (where applicable) and such other person, that they may make representations to the investigator concerning the draft report or, as the case may be, part of the draft report, not later than 28 days after it is furnished to them.

(9) As soon as practicable after the expiration of the 28 days referred to in subsection (8) and, having considered any representations made pursuant to that subsection, the investigator may amend the draft report and shall furnish the final report on the investigation to the Minister and An tÚdarás.

(10) In this section "records” means any document, or any other written or printed material in any form, including information stored, maintained or preserved by means of any mechanical or electronic device, whether or not stored, maintained or preserved in a legible form.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 55:

In page 77, after line 2, to insert the following:"Information requested by Minister

94.The Act of 1940 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 29A (inserted by section 93):

"29B.(1) The Institute or a Constituent School shall furnish to the Minister any information requested by the Minister concerning the performance by the Institute or a Constituent School of its functions.

(2) The Minister shall not request information under subsection (1) in respect of a matter specified by the Minister under section 29A(1), during the period beginning on the appointment of the investigator under section 29A to investigate the matter and ending when the final report on the matter is furnished under section 29A(9).

(3) The Minister may provide information furnished to him or her under subsection (1) to an investigator for the time being appointed under section 29A.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 56:

In page 77, after line 2, to insert the following:

"CHAPTER 2

Amendment of Act of 1971

Investigator and report

95.The Act of 1971 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 15:"15A.(1) Following consultation with An tÚdarás, the Minister may appoint a person (in this section referred to as an "investigator”) to carry out an investigation into any matter specified in writing by the Minister concerning the performance by the College of its functions.

(2) The Minister shall by notice in writing inform An Bord of his or her proposal to appoint an investigator under subsection (1) and the matter to be investigated.

(3) A notice under subsection (2) shall state that An Bord may make representations to the Minister in relation to the proposed appointment not later than 14 days after the giving of the notice to An Bord.

(4) The Minister shall consider any representations made pursuant to subsection (3) before making an appointment under subsection (1).

(5) An investigator shall be entitled at all reasonable times to enter any premises occupied by the College and shall be afforded every facility and cooperation, including access to equipment and records, as the investigator may require to perform his or her functions under this section, by the following:
(a) the Director;

(b) a member of An Bord;

(c) the Registrar;

(d) an employee of the College;

(e) a contractor appointed by the College to perform any function on its behalf and an employee of that contractor;

(f) a consultant or advisor appointed by the College.
(6) Each person referred to in paragraphs (a) to (f) of subsection (5) shall comply with a request of the investigator to provide such information and assistance as the investigator may reasonably require for the purposes of the investigation.

(7) As soon as practicable after the investigation, the investigator shall prepare a draft of the report on the investigation that he or she proposes to furnish to the Minister (in this section referred to as the "draft report”).

(8) The investigator shall furnish the draft report to the Minister, An tÚdarás and An Bord and may furnish the draft report, or part of the draft report, to any other person as he or she considers necessary and shall give notice to the Minister, An tÚdarás, An Bord and such other person, that they may make representations to the investigator concerning the draft report or, as the case may be, part of the draft report, not later than 28 days after it is furnished to them.

(9) As soon as practicable after the expiration of the 28 days referred to in subsection (8) and, having considered any representations made pursuant to that subsection, the investigator may amend the draft report and shall furnish the final report on the investigation to the Minister and An tÚdarás.

(10) In this section "records” means any document, or any other written or printed material in any form, including information stored, maintained or preserved by means of any mechanical or electronic device, whether or not stored, maintained or preserved in a legible form.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 57:

In page 77, after line 2, to insert the following:“Amendment of section 16 of Act of 1971

96.*Section 16 of the Act of 1971 is amended—
(a) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (2):
“(3) The Minister shall not require the supply of information under subsection (2) in respect of a matter specified by the Minister under section 15A(1), during the period beginning on the appointment of the investigator under section 15A to investigate the matter and ending when the final report on the matter is furnished under section 15A(9).”,
and

(b) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (3) (inserted by paragraph (a)):
“(4) The Minister may provide information supplied to him or her under subsection (2) to an investigator for the time being appointed under section 15A.”.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Bill, as amended, received for final consideration.

Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass."

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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I thank the Minister for working with the members of the committee, particularly me, over the past number of weeks and months. I also thank her officials. There has been a slight change to the guard in that regard and I know that Deirdre McDonnell was heavily involved in this Bill. This is a major achievement for the confidence and supply agreement and not only for the Government, because this legislation has been hanging around for the past number of years, leaving huge uncertainty in the IT sector around the country, and had not been able to pass in the Dáil. Working together with the Minister, who genuinely took on board suggestions that we made, making changes to the legislation, some of which we have just agreed in her amendments, but which really came from the committee debate to which we all contributed, it has been a hugely positive experience for us as legislators. This will set the tone for higher education in what will be the technological university sector. I know Deputy Browne will be very interested in what will happen in Waterford and Carlow in particular, and Deputy Collins similarly in Limerick. We are very interested all around the country, in Dublin and everywhere else that will get this designation-----

Photo of Tony McLoughlinTony McLoughlin (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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Sligo.

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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-----and Sligo too, once the institutions reach the standards that we have set for them in the legislation. The Minister has achieved something here, but the confidence and supply agreement has also achieved something in that we have managed to get this legislation through the Houses with the help of other parties. The Green Party and Sinn Féin have worked on this too. I thank the Minister for her co-operation.

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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I reciprocate the Deputy's thanks. I thank my colleagues, including Deputy Thomas Byrne in Fianna Fáil especially, Deputy Funchion of Sinn Féin, members of Labour and the Greens and the Independents, all of whom contributed. This is now a very strong Bill. I also thank in particular the officials, including Deirdre McDonnell, who did so much work on the Bill. I thank the Ceann Comhairle as well for facilitating this evening's debate.

Question put and agreed to.