Prasifka named Financial Services Ombudsman

Romulan

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How is this decided?

I don't recall seeing the post advertised in open competition.

From Aviation Regulator to Competition Authority to Financial Services Ombudsman.

Does this process strike anyone else as unacceptable?

The Minister for Finance on 29 October 2008 appointed the following as members of the Financial Services Ombudsman Council for a five year period.

Dermott Jewell Chairperson ( Consumers Representative)
Michael Connolly ( Consultant)
Paddy Leydon (Bank of Ireland )
Tony Kerr ( UCD College of Business and Law)
Paddy Lyons (former Chair of Competition Authority)
Caitriona Ni Charra (MABS)
Frank Wynn (Irish Life & Permanent plc)
Jim Bardon is Secretary to the Council.

The main functions of the Council as laid down in the Act are to:

Appoint the Financial Services Ombudsman and each Deputy Financial Services Ombudsman
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Brendan Burgess

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The resignation of Joe Meade was publicised very well.

The ad was in the paper and probably on the Government's website.

The slow progress of the recruitment was often discussed in the media.

I don't know Prasifka, but I have little respect for the Competition Authority.
 

Romulan

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327
I know Joe was leaving, never missed one of his reports!

I completely missed any ad in any paper I read but what concerns me is my perception that this is another example of circular appointments that we see all the time in Ireland.

I would expect that any report on our financial woes would examine the series of interlocking appointments and relationships on the business side.

Is this an example of the flip side of the equation?
 

Brendan Burgess

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Not at all.

They would have been looking for someone with a legal background and public service administration experience at a senior level.

They could have appointed a recent graduate in English literature, but I doubt if he or she would do the job as well as someone who actually had a lot of relevant experience and qualifications for the job.

Joe Meade did a good job. He had been the Data Protection Commissioner.
 
M

mercman

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It really is a pity that the post was not filled prior to Joe Meade retiring. I'm not sure if the interim deputy stood up to the mark at all.

There are many people that are unaware that the Financial Services Ombudsman is a statutory body. The findings are normally evenly apportioned but it does not get to the main hub of many of the problems. These being that those that have mis sold to vulnerable people still continue to work in many cases for the same institution and in the same industry.

And for doing wrong, they carry no blame and in many cases are rewarded for their misgivings. In most cases they are not reprimanded by the Regulator nor is their license rebuffed. Brilliant for a country that is generally trying to promote the Finance industry on the international stage.

There was talk about naming the institutions that mis sold in the cases determined. Was a decision made in this regard ?
 

annet

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Not at all.

They would have been looking for someone with a legal background and public service administration experience at a senior level.

They could have appointed a recent graduate in English literature, but I doubt if he or she would do the job as well as someone who actually had a lot of relevant experience and qualifications for the job.

Joe Meade did a good job. He had been the Data Protection Commissioner.
AFAIK Joe didnt have a legal qualification nor a bacHe worked as Commissioner in the Office for Data Protection. He was and is a career civil servant and apart from having no legal qualifications or experience of law, the same could be said for his posting to the financial services. His third level qualification was an Arts Degree and the BA was in history and english.

When he left his former post as commissioner the assistant commissioner Billy Hawkes was then promoted to his post as per standard practices in the public sector.

I would disagree that he done a good job. In every report that he published since taking office he always seemed to publicise the same owl problems about financial institutions who mis-sold products etc. He once said that his preferred philosophy when he was data commissioner was soft regulation and he evidently chose the same type of approach when dealing with financial institutions who lets face it didnt take him seriously. Soft regulation does not work.
 

Brendan Burgess

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I think that the one area Joe Meade fell down in, was his lack of a legal background. Which is why they placed a lot of emphasis on it in the ad.
the assistant commissioner Billy Hawkes
I don't think that this is correct. Are you sure Billy Hawkes was Assistant Commissioner?

Again, it would not be a problem if someone who was working competently in the office was promoted to the top job. You almost seem to imply that experience in the Data Protection Office should exclude you from consideration for the job.
financial institutions who lets face it didnt take him seriously.
Which is why they frequently took him to the High Court to appeal his decisions. It is an extraordinary claim to make that the financial institutions did not take Joe seriously.
 

annet

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Yes, Billy Hawkes was Assistant Data Protection Commissioner prior his appointment as Commissioner. Prior to that he was an official in the Department of Finance, and held other senior posts in the Department of Trade Enterprise and Employment and the Department of Tourism and Trade. He is also a former diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs. He has a BSc. in Public Administration, a MBA and an Incorporated Law Society qualification in Applied Finance Law.

I agree with you that Joe’s lack of legal knowledge and relevant experience was a problem. If a Data Protection Commissioner doesn’t appear to understand basic law definitions that then it does become a serious issue of competency, particularly when the core composite of the job is knowledge of law.

Obviously experience in the Office should not exclude a person from being appointed. As with any job, generally the core requirement is that applicants have relevant qualifications and secondly relevant experience whether their profession is a barrister, doctor, accountant or engineer.

I do begin to question about the public recruitment process when vacancies are largely filled by internal candidates. But this is not to say that this common practice doesn’t happen in the private sector as well!

Coincidently, in the findings of a research report on Data Protection policy across EU member states there was also concerns about the perceived independence of offices that rely on state funding to carry out their functions let alone those that also come under Departmental control.
 

Brendan Burgess

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39,559
Here is an example you will like. I am worried by it.


The Chairman and Board of the National Library of Ireland announced today that Fiona Ross has been appointed to serve as Director of the National Library of Ireland.



Commenting on the appointment, the Chairman of the Board of the National Library of Ireland, Gerry Danaher, SC, said: “We are very excited to welcome Fiona Ross as the National Library of Ireland’s new Director. Fiona has excellent leadership skills and has extensive experience in marketing and communications. I have no doubt that her experience, combined with her broadly based academic background, including her honours degree in History and English, will be a considerable asset to the Library in the challenges it faces in a demanding and ever-changing service environment “.
For more information, please see our press release.
An expert in the field of leadership and governance, Ms Ross has lectured in University College Dublin and at the Irish Management Institute (IMI) and is a member of the Business Research Programme in UCD. Ms Ross also worked as a consultant in corporate governance, reputation and ethics. Prior to her recent lecturing position in UCD, Ms Ross spent several years in senior finance, marketing and communications roles including with the Bank of Ireland and Goodbody Stockbrokers.

Ms Ross (44) received a BA with honours in History and English from Trinity College, Dublin in 1987. She was awarded an MA from TCD in 1988 and a Master in Business Studies from the Graduate School of Business at UCD in 1991. In 2008, she was awarded a Law Masters in Governance and Public Policy (First class honours with distinction) from Queen’s University Belfast and has since continued her academic research in the area of governance and reputation.
I am not that familiar with the National Library and of course, it has marketing and communication challenges. But does it really need an expert in "governance and reputation" where her experience in the area came from Bank of Ireland and Goodbody.

But it depends on who applied for the job. I would have thought that the basic requirement would have been a good understanding of arhives, collections and libraries.
 

annet

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224
Wouldnt it just have made more sense now to send her off to Paul Appleby in the ODCE. Evidently, her vast knowledge, outstanding academic credentials, and her expertise in particularly the area of corporate governance, reputation and ethics would have been an invaluable asset that could have aided him in his current investigations into the banking sector.

Seriously though, to work even as a librarian you need at minimum a graduate diploma in library and information studies and they even do masters in UCD. But I suppose that at least she's got some kind of qualification in HISTORY. Off course, she could always pop down to UCD on the Number 10 which quite conveniently stops right outside the door if she needs advice from academic staff on information and library studies or English Lit and she can even pop across to the next building to Pat Wallace director of the National Museum (who is actually an Archaeologist) if she has any probs with the manuscripts.

It certainly make an interesting research project to have highly qualified candidates with relevant experience to actually apply for a number of public service appointments, and just see how those balls roll. I wonder would that research get Research Ethics Committee approval though!

Well not to worry....you can but laugh!
 
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