Local Government Reform Act 2014

54.

Chief executive

54. (1) The Principal Act is amended by substituting the following for Chapter 2 of Part 14:

“Chapter 2

Position of Chief Executive

Position of chief executive

144. (1) For every county, city and city and county there shall be a chief executive to be known as ‘the Chief Executive of.......’ (followed by the name of the city council, county council or city and county council, as the case may be) who shall hold employment under the council concerned.

(2) Subject to section 16 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, a person who was, immediately before the 2014 establishment day, a county manager or city manager shall, unless he or she was retiring or resigning with effect from the end of that day, continue in office and shall be referred to in accordance with subsection (1).

(3) (a) A reference in any enactment, however expressed, to a county manager or city manager shall, with effect to the 2014 establishment day, be read (other than in respect of a provision that was spent before that day or is in the nature of a transitional matter provided for by the Local Government Reform Act 2014) as a corresponding reference to a chief executive and, where the context permits or requires, includes a reference to the chief executive of a city and county council.

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to—

(i) the title of any Act,

(ii) the citation of an instrument made under any Act, or

(iii) the name of any organisation or body referred to in any enactment.

(4) Any function which immediately before the date of the commencement of section 54 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 was, by virtue of any enactment a function of a city manager or a county manager shall, on and from that date, continue to vest in and be a function of the chief executive of the local authority concerned.

(5) The chief executive of a local authority shall by virtue of his or her position be the chief executive for every joint body whose functional area is wholly situated within such county.

(6) Where the functional area of a joint body extends into—

(a) two or more counties, or

(b) a city or a city and county and one or more counties,

then the chief executive of such county, city or city and county as the Minister shall by order appoint shall also be the chief executive for such joint body.

(7) The Minister may prescribe by regulations any body to be a joint body and any body so prescribed shall be a joint body for the purposes of this section.

(8) The position of chief executive is, subject to section 145, an office to which the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act 1926, applies.

Appointment of chief executive

145. (1) The following are reserved functions—

(a) the appointment by a county council, city council or a city and county council of a chief executive under section 6 of the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act 1926 (in this section referred to as the ‘Act of 1926’) by virtue of a recommendation of the Chief Executive of the Public Appointments Service, and

(b) the suspension or removal from employment of a chief executive in accordance with section 146.

(2) For the purposes of section 6 of the Act of 1926 a request shall be deemed to have been submitted in respect of the employment of a chief executive—

(a) in the case of a chief executive to whom section 147 applies—

(i) 6 months in advance of the expiration of the tenure period referred to in section 147(1), or

(ii) on the date that chief executive ceases to hold employment,

whichever is the earlier, and

(b) in any other case—

(i) 6 months in advance of the date that chief executive would attain the age-limit for his or her employment, or

(ii) on the date that chief executive ceases to hold employment,

whichever is the earlier.

(3) Where, as respects a county council, city council or city and county council, including a county council or city council in a group of authorities, a recommendation is made under section 6 of the Act of 1926 of a person for appointment as the chief executive, such council shall—

(a) within 3 months of the date of the recommendation meet and decide to appoint or not appoint as chief executive the person so recommended, and

(b) in the event of deciding not to approve the appointment, furnish to the recommended person the reasons for such decision.

(4) (a) The Minister may make regulations relating to the procedures to be followed by every local authority (including a county council or city council in a group of authorities)—

(i) when considering a recommendation made to it to which subsection (1)(a) relates, and

(ii) for the purposes of subsection (3),

and each such local authority shall comply with those regulations.

(b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (a), regulations under this subsection may provide for arrangements to be put in place and used in respect of the consideration of a recommendation made under section 6 of the Act of 1926, and for that purpose such arrangements may include—

(i) provisions for the purpose of a local authority seeking information from the recommended person in respect of his or her proposed appointment, the time periods within which—

(I) such information may be so sought, and

(II) further information may be so sought,

and the manner of the provision of such information to the local authority,

(ii) the manner of dealing with information, whether from the recommended person or otherwise, associated with such a recommendation,

(iii) the criteria to apply in respect of the consideration of such a recommendation,

(iv) the records to be maintained by a local authority in relation to the consideration of such a recommendation,

(v) the conducting otherwise than in public of any meeting, or part of a meeting, that considers or otherwise relates to such a recommendation, and

(vi) the keeping in a confidential manner of information obtained, whether from the recommended person or otherwise, and records maintained that relate to such a recommendation.

(c) In making regulations under paragraph (a), the Minister may have regard to and take account of any code of practice issued by the Commission for Public Service Appointments under section 23 of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 in existence at the time of the making of the regulations that would relate (in whole or in part) to the selection process that precedes a recommendation to which subsection (1)(a) applies.

(5) Where, as respects a county council, city council or city and county council, including a county council or city council in a group of authorities, such council has decided to not appoint as chief executive the person recommended to which subsection (1)(a) relates, then, for the purposes of section 6 (other than subsection (4) ) of the Act of 1926, and notwithstanding the said subsection (4) or any other provision of this Act or any other enactment, a further request shall be deemed to have been submitted in respect of the employment of a chief executive.

(6) Where a position of chief executive becomes vacant the Minister shall appoint a person to be the chief executive temporarily until a permanent appointment to the position is made but such temporary appointment may be terminated by the Minister at any time.

(7) Section 5 of the Act of 1926 does not apply to the position of chief executive.

Suspension and removal of chief executive

146. (1) (a) Subject to this section, the elected council of a local authority may by resolution suspend or remove from employment the chief executive for such local authority for stated misbehaviour or if his or her suspension or removal appears to them to be necessary for the effective performance by the local authority of its functions.

(b) A copy of any resolution passed under this section shall be sent without delay to the Minister.

(2) Notice of the intention to propose a resolution under this section shall—

(a) be signed by at least one-third of the total number of members of the local authority concerned,

(b) contain a statement of the reasons for the proposed suspension or removal,

(c) in the case of a suspension, specify a period not exceeding 2 months for the proposed suspension,

(d) specify a day for the holding of a special meeting to consider the proposed suspension or removal being a day which is not less than 21 days after the day on which the notice is delivered under paragraph (e),

(e) be delivered to the meetings administrator, and

(f) be delivered or sent to the chief executive concerned.

(3) The meetings administrator shall on receipt of a notice and without delay send a copy of it to every member of the local authority and convene a special meeting for the date so specified to consider the proposed suspension or removal.

(4) The chief executive may prepare a statement of response in relation to the proposed suspension or removal and such statement shall be sent to each member of the local authority concerned.

(5) It is necessary for the passing of a resolution under this section that—

(a) at least three-quarters of the total number of members of the local authority concerned vote in favour of the resolution, and

(b) the members of the council concerned shall have considered any statement prepared by the chief executive under subsection (4).

(6) A person who is suspended under this section may subsequently be removed from office in accordance with this section.

(7) (a) A chief executive shall not be removed under this section without the sanction of the Minister given under this subsection.

(b) The Minister may appoint a panel of 3 persons—

(i) to consider the removal of a chief executive the subject of a resolution under this section and the chief executive’s statement of response,

(ii) to recommend whether the Minister should give sanction to such removal, and

(iii) to make such other recommendations (if any) as the panel may consider appropriate in all the circumstances.

(c) A panel shall be independent in the performance of its functions.

(d) A panel shall include a chairperson and 2 other persons having knowledge of or experience in local government, human resources or management.

(e) A sanction shall not be given under this subsection except by virtue of a recommendation under paragraph (b).

(8) The Minister may by regulations prescribe any matter of procedure for the purposes of this section.

Tenure of chief executive

147. (1) Notwithstanding any other enactment, a person appointed to a position of chief executive holds the employment unless he or she earlier dies, resigns or is removed, during whichever of the following tenure periods is the shorter—

(a) a period of such length as the Minister specifies by order,

(b) the period from the date of the appointment to the date on which he or she attains such age as the Minister specifies by order,

and on the expiration of that period he or she ceases to hold the employment.

(2) Notwithstanding any enactment (including subsection (1) ) or instrument made under such enactment, the tenure period of a chief executive referred to in subsection (1)(a) shall, subject to and in accordance with this section and with regulations made by the Minister for the purposes of this subsection, be extended where notification (in this section referred to as the ‘prescribed notification’)—

(a) is given by the chief executive to the Cathaoirleach of the local authority concerned, and

(b) is in the form prescribed by regulations made under this section, but in no case shall the tenure period as so extended exceed 10 years.

(3) On receipt of a prescribed notification the Cathaoirleach of the local authority concerned shall—

(a) inform the members of the local authority of it at the next meeting of that local authority, and

(b) transmit a copy of it to the Minister and to the chief executive of the Public Appointments Service.

(4) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of subsection (2)and such regulations may provide for:

(a) the form of the prescribed notification;

(b) the period (in this section referred to as the ‘notification period’) within which a prescribed notification shall be given;

(c) subject to subsection (2), the period by which the tenure period shall be extended;

(d) the position of chief executive to which subsection (5) does not apply;

(e) the application of different periods for the purposes of paragraphs (b) and (c) to specified classes of chief executive.

(5) Subject to regulations made under subsection (4)(d) —

(a) a chief executive whose tenure period is extended under subsection (2) shall not apply for appointment to any position of chief executive during the period commencing on the date the chief executive gives a prescribed notification and ending on a date which is 6 months prior to the expiration of the extended tenure period (in this subsection referred to as the ‘exclusion period’), and

(b) notwithstanding section 6 of the Local Authorities (Officers Employees) Act 1926, a chief executive who has given a prescribed notification shall not be considered by the Public Appointments Service for selection for any position of chief executive during the exclusion period.

(6) (a) A notification period referred to in subsection (4) (b) shall be wholly within the tenure period.

(b) A prescribed notification for the purposes of this section which is given outside of the notification period is invalid.

(7) Where the tenure period of a chief executive stands extended in accordance with this section, such extended tenure period shall be the tenure period for the purposes of subsection (2) of section 145 and that section shall apply accordingly.

(8) The Local Government (Tenure of Office) Order 2000 ( S.I. No. 221 of 2000) and the Local Government (Tenure of Office of Managers) Regulations 2000 ( S.I. No. 219 of 2000) shall be deemed to have been made under subsections (1) and (4), respectively, and shall continue to have effect and may be amended or revoked accordingly.

(9) Nothing in this section operates to interfere with or alter the tenure of a chief executive—

(a) whose tenure is governed by an order under section 47 of the Local Government Act 1991 (in this subsection referred to as the ‘Act of 1991’), or

(b) whose tenure is governed by such an order and section 47A (inserted by section 1 of the Local Government Act 2000) of the Act of 1991,

notwithstanding the repeal by this Act of the Act of 1991 and of the Local Government Act 2000.

Deputy chief executive

148. (1) (a) A chief executive, following consultation with the Cathaoirleach of the local authority concerned may by order appoint an employee of that authority to be a deputy chief executive for the purposes of subsection (2) and may at any time terminate such appointment.

(b) An order under paragraph (a) may provide that where an appointee specified in the order is not available such other employee as may be so specified shall stand appointed as deputy chief executive for so long as the first-mentioned appointee is unavailable.

(c) An appointment under this subsection may be made by reference to a particular individual or to the holder for the time being of a particular employment.

(2) A deputy chief executive shall by virtue of this section act as and be the chief executive for the duration of any period which may arise from time to time (whether by way of vacation, illness or other reason) during which the chief executive is temporarily unable to act.

(3) (a) Where a chief executive has for any reason become temporarily unable to act and—

(i) has not made an appointment under subsection (1),

(ii) there is no subsisting appointment, or

(iii) the appointee is incapacitated or otherwise unable to act,

the Cathaoirleach of the local authority concerned may appoint an employee of the local authority to be deputy chief executive for the remainder of the duration of the inability of the chief executive to act and may at any time terminate such appointment.

(b) Notification of an appointment under subsection (1) or (3) shall be sent to the Minister and every member of every local authority concerned as soon as may be after the appointment is made.

(4) (a) The Minister may appoint an employee of a local authority to be deputy chief executive if a chief executive is for any reason temporarily unable to act and an appointment under subsection (1)or (3) is not for the time being in force.

(b) The Minister may at any time terminate an appointment to which paragraph (a) applies.

(5) A deputy chief executive shall act as and be the chief executive during the continuance of the inability of the chief executive to act or until—

(a) the appointment is sooner terminated under subsection (1), (3) or (4), or

(b) on account of the death, retirement, resignation or inability otherwise to act, of the deputy chief executive.

(6) A reference in any enactment including this Act to a chief executive shall be read as including a deputy chief executive acting as chief executive in accordance with this section.

Executive functions

149. (1) In this section—

‘elected council’ includes the members of a joint body;

‘local authority’ includes a joint body.

(2) In respect of each local authority for which he or she is chief executive, a chief executive is responsible for—

(a) the efficient and effective operation of each such local authority, and

(b) for ensuring under section 132 the implementation without undue delay of the decisions of the elected council.

(3) For the purposes of discharging the responsibilities set out under subsection (2), the chief executive shall—

(a) exercise and perform in respect of each local authority for which he or she is the chief executive, the executive functions of such local authority (including all functions in relation to the employees of each such local authority), and

(b) for that purpose carry on and manage and control generally the administration and business of the authority.

(4) Every function of a local authority which is not a reserved function is, for the purposes of this Act, an executive function of such local authority.

(5) All such matters and things, including the making of contracts and the affixing of the official seal, as are necessary for or incidental to the exercise or performance of the executive functions of a local authority shall, subject to this Act or any regulations made under it, be done by the chief executive for such local authority.

(6) Subject to law, the functions of a chief executive shall be performed in accordance with the policy of the local authority as determined by the elected council in accordance with Chapter 1 of this Part.

(7) The chief executive, in performing his or her functions in accordance with subsection (6), shall have regard to the views of the elected members of the council, expressed in any of the following ways:

(a) at a meeting of the council;

(b) at a meeting of the municipal district members;

(c) at a meeting of any committee of the council;

(d) in responses in writing to any request for input to the development by the local authority of a new policy or an amendment of an existing policy.

(8) The chief executive shall, when requested by the elected council—

(a) report on the actions already taken and planned to be taken in exercise of his or her executive functions,

(b) review the implementation of, and any actions planned to implement, any executive function and report to the council in the matter.

Executive functions and shared services

149A. (1) In respect of executive functions of a local authority, where 2 or more local authorities agree, or had agreed before the commencement of this section, that, in the interests of efficiency and effectiveness, a specified executive function should be performed by one of them (in this subsection referred to as the ‘nominated local authority’) on behalf of the other local authority or local authorities (as the case may be), then the nominated local authority may perform, and be deemed always to have had the power to perform, the function on behalf of the other local authority or local authorities (as the case may be).

(2) Nothing in this section shall be read as affecting section 34(1)(aa) (inserted by the Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2001) of the Waste Management Act 1996.”.

(2) The amendments in Schedules 1 and 2, in so far as they relate to the chief executive, have effect for the purpose of supplementing subsection (1).