Building on the Government’s Decision of 2011 which established an open process operated by the Public Appointment Service inviting expressions of interest for membership of State Boards, Brendan Howlin, TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has today, 30 September 2014, secured the agreement of the Government to a Revised Model for Ministerial Appointments to State Boards.

Since 2011, over 200 state board vacancies have been filled on the basis of expressions of interest received on the portal.


Today’s decision complements the current system with a more structured approach requiring that all appointments to vacancies on State Boards must:

  •  be advertised openly on the State Boards portal operated by the Public Appointments Service (PAS)
  •  meet specific and detailed criteria determined by the relevant Minister as necessary for the effective performance of the relevant role; and
  • be processed by way of a transparent assessment system designed and implemented by the independent Public Appointments Service (PAS) to support the relevant Minister in making appointments to State Boards under his/her remit.

Speaking after Cabinet this afternoon, Minister Howlin said, “I am confident that these new requirements will provide us with the credible, transparent and robust appointments model which will ensure that vacancies on State Boards are populated by the high-calibre personnel required to successfully perform their challenging and demanding mandates.” will become the “one-stop-shop” for State Board Appointments for all State Boards, detailing the candidate specification required including:

  •  Relevant experience;
  • Educational and other qualifications;
  • Particular personal attributes; and
  • Range of skills of existing Board members


The portal will also contain definitive, current information on all statutory boards including:

  • legal basis;
  • membership;
  • terms of appointment;
  • current vacancies;
  • gender balance; and
  • other diversity indicators etc.


Within six weeks, Minister Howlin will present an overarching set of guidelines for appointments to State Boards to the Government for approval. These guidelines will set out requirements which would be expected to apply to all State Board appointments in terms of the calibre and quality of candidates and broader public policy considerations relating to gender equality and other diversity objectives.

It remains the case that prospective Chairs of State Boards will be obliged to appear before the appropriate Oireachtas Committees.