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Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004
Codes of practice, listed recruitment agencies, etc.
Codes of practice.
23.— (1) The Commission shall prepare such codes of practice as it considers necessary or appropriate for the purpose of carrying out its functions under section 13 and shall cause such codes of practice to be made publicly available.
(2) Codes of practice to be published by the Commission and to which subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of section 13 (1)(b) relate shall set out—
(a) the principles to be put in place, in respect of recruitment and selection procedures and of selecting persons for promotion, in relation to—
(i) the probity, equity and fairness of the process concerned,
(ii) the need to ensure that candidates are selected on the basis of merit,
(iii) the protection of the public interest,
(iv) the implementation of best practice and good governance,
(v) the general procedures (including review procedures) to be adopted in respect of grievances and complaints brought forward by candidates, and
(vi) such other matters the Commission deems to be appropriate,
(b) any requirements or other matters to which section 24 (4) relates.
(3) Codes of practice to be published by the Commission and to which subparagraph (iii) of section 13 (1)(b) relates shall establish and set down—
(a) procedures, including appeal procedures, for dealing with any alleged failure, by any person applying for a position within the Civil Service or other public service body and to which this Act or the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act 1926 applies, to comply with any provision of those Acts or any code of practice to which sub-paragraph (i) or (ii) of section 13 (1)(b) relates,
(b) where a failure to so comply is proved, the consequences of such failure, including disqualification, where appropriate.
(4) (a) The Commission may consolidate, revoke or amend any code of practice as it sees fit, including—
(i) any regulations under section 16 or rules under section 30 of the Civil Service Commissioners Act 1956 , and
(ii) any regulations under section 8 of the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act 1926 ,
which are deemed to be codes of practice by virtue of section 62
(b) The amendment of a code of practice shall not take effect until notice of the amendment is published by the Commission.
(c) The revocation of a code of practice shall not take effect until a replacement code of practice is published by the Commission in respect of the matters concerned.
(5) (a) Recruitment licences shall not be granted by the Commission, either generally or in respect of any particular post or class of posts, unless there has been duly published a code of practice in respect of the recruitment process to the post or posts to which the licence would relate.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply in respect of a licence granted to the Public Appointments Service.
Codes of practice and requirements for appointment, etc.
24.— (1) Without prejudice to subsection (2), every code of practice to which this section relates shall include requirements relating to—
(a) knowledge and ability to enter on the discharge of the duties of the post concerned,
(b) suitability on the grounds of character,
(c) suitability in all other relevant respects for appointment to the post concerned.
(2) In respect of—
(a) one or more local authorities, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government,
(b) one or more health boards, the Minister for Health and Children,
(c) one or more vocational education committees, the Minister for Education and Science, or
(d) one or more public service bodies to which paragraph (a), (b) or (c) do not relate, the Minister,
may, from time to time, specify requirements he or she considers necessary for applicants to comply with in respect of any particular post or class of posts specified by that Minister.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), specified requirements in respect of the post concerned may include—
(a) the minimum amount of practical experience, or type or types of practical experience, required of candidates for the post concerned,
(b) the academic or professional qualifications required to be possessed by candidates,
(c) subject to the Employment Equality Act 1998 , the health and age of candidates.
(a) requirements have been specified under subsection (2) in respect of a post or class of posts, and
(b) the Commission has obtained the written consent of the Minister concerned in respect of the recruitment process for such post or for some or all of such class of posts,
then the Commission shall, in respect of the post or class of posts to which the written consent relates, do either or both of the following, as it considers appropriate, to take account of those requirements:
(i) prepare one or more codes of practice;
(ii) amend one or more existing codes of practice.
(5) (a) Where a Minister of the Government referred to in subsection (2) specifies, or has specified, requirements for the purposes of that subsection, then such Minister may also specify optional matters to be provided for in respect of the post or class of posts concerned.
(b) Where paragraph (a) applies, then subsection (4) shall also apply to such optional matters as if it were referred to in that subsection.
(6) (a) Where a code of practice relates to the recruitment process for an unestablished position within the Civil Service it may provide that a person appointed to such position may, in circumstances specified in the code, be subsequently appointed to a specified established position within the Civil Service.
(b) This subsection shall cease to have effect on such day as the Minister by order appoints.
(7) In preparing or amending a code of practice to which this section relates, the Commission—
(a) shall consult with the Chief Executive of the Service in a case to which paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (2) relates, and
(b) may seek the assistance of the Public Appointments Service or any other licence holder.
(8) If in respect of a code of practice a question arises as to whether a candidate is or is not qualified for appointment to a post to which that code relates, it shall be decided upon by the licence holder responsible for the competition concerned.
(9) Only candidates who have successfully completed the recruitment or promotion process under this Act, including compliance with the code of practice concerned, shall be eligible for appointment.
(10) Subject to subsection (11), a person shall be selected for appointment to a post in the order of merit as determined by the recruitment process.
(11) A candidate shall not be appointed to a post unless—
(a) he or she agrees to undertake the duties attached to the post concerned and to accept the conditions under which those duties are, or may be required to be, performed, and
(b) he or she is fully competent and available to undertake, and fully capable of undertaking, the duties attached to that position, having regard to the conditions under which those duties are, or may be required to be, performed.
(12) Nothing in this section shall be read as affecting the application of the Employment Equality Act 1998 in circumstances where that Act applies.
Listed recruitment agencies.
25.— (1) At least once every year the Commission shall cause to be published and made publicly available in the State a notice requesting applications from recruitment agencies to be included in a list for the purposes of this section (in this Act referred to as the “listed recruitment agencies”).
(2) (a) The Commission shall prepare, publish and make publicly available in the State the conditions under which recruitment agencies are to be considered for inclusion in a list of recruitment agencies for the purposes of this Act.
(b) The Commission may, from time to time, amend the conditions.
(c) Where the Commission amends the conditions, it shall—
(i) cause a copy to be sent to all recruitment agencies standing specified in the list of recruitment agencies and to every holder of a recruitment licence, and
(ii) cause it to be published by making it publicly available within the State.
(d) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), the conditions the Commission sets shall include—
(i) that the recruitment agency possesses, at the date of its assessment by the Commission, a tax clearance certificate as referred to in section 26 ,
(ii) that the candidate recruitment agency complies with any licensing or other requirements necessary to act as an employment or recruitment agency within the State, and
(iii) such other conditions that the Commission considers appropriate to specify.
(3) A recruitment agency seeking to be included on the list shall only be included if it appears to the Commission upon assessment that the agency satisfies the conditions prepared, published and made publicly available by the Commission under subsection (2).
(4) Where for the purposes of subsection (3) the Commission is satisfied, it shall—
(a) include that agency on the list, and
(b) publish the list and make it publicly available in the State or cause it to be so published and made available.
(5) (a) Subject to paragraph (b) and to any terms and conditions in the recruitment licence concerned, a licence holder may seek the assistance of a listed recruitment agency in respect of some of the tasks connected with the selection of persons by virtue of that licence.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the licence holder concerned shall have sole responsibility for the final selection of candidates for appointment or for placing candidates on a panel for appointment.
(c) It is the duty of a licence holder to ensure that the terms and conditions of the recruitment licence are complied with by any listed recruitment agency he or she seeks the assistance of in respect of the task of selection, and nothing in this section shall be read so as to relieve the licence holder of his or her obligations under this Act.
(6) (a) A listed recruitment agency shall remain on the list—
(i) until the operative date in a request to the Commission from the recruitment agency for it to cease to be included in the list or the date of receipt by the Commission of such a request, whichever is the later, or
(ii) subject to subsection (8), where the Commission forms the opinion that the recruitment agency fails to meet the conditions for the time being standing for inclusion on the list, until such date as the Commission considers appropriate, taking into account such recruitment (if any) being undertaken by virtue of this Act when the Commission reached that opinion.
(b) For the purposes of paragraph (a) where recruitment is being assisted by a listed recruitment agency—
(i) when the request is made under subparagraph (i) of that paragraph, or
(ii) when the Commission forms an opinion for the purposes of subparagraph (ii) of that paragraph,
then different dates may be specified in respect of different classes or categories of recruitment.
(7) The Commission shall, from time to time as it considers appropriate, examine and evaluate, or cause to be examined and evaluated, every listed recruitment agency for the purpose of finding out whether or not each of them has complied with the conditions referred to in subsection (2).
(8) Where the Commission is of the opinion that a listed recruitment agency has failed to a material extent to meet any of the conditions specified for the purposes of subsection (2), then—
(a) where the Commission believes that, because of the nature of the failure, it is in the public interest to remove the name of the agency from the list forthwith, the Commission shall so remove that name,
(b) in any other case, the Commission shall give such notice to the agency concerned, as the Commission considers appropriate in the circumstances, of its intention to remove the name of the agency from the list subject to any representations that the agency may wish to make to the Commission on or before a specified date.
Tax clearance certificates.
26.— For the purposes of section 25 where the conditions referred to in subsection (2) of that section require the possession of a tax clearance certificate by a recruitment agency applying for inclusion in the list of recruitment agencies, then the agency shall not be included in the list unless it produces to the Commission a tax clearance certificate issued under section 1095 (inserted by section 127 of the Finance Act 2002 ) of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 .