State Boards Vacancies – Chairperson of the FSAI Board

Appointments to the Board of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Information Note

In accordance with the Government’s recent decision to widen the opportunity for board membership of State Bodies, the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, invites expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced persons interested in being appointed to the position of Chairperson of the Board of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Board Members are appointed in a non-executive capacity.

Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Background Information

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) was established under the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act, 1998 (FSAI Act No 29 of 1998). This Act was amended by the British Irish Agreement Act 1999 (British Irish Agreement Act 1999).

The principal function of the FSAI is to take all reasonable steps to ensure that food produced, distributed or marketed in the State meets the highest standards of food safety and hygiene reasonably available and to ensure that food complies with legal requirements, or where appropriate with recognised codes of good practice.

The Authority is a statutory, independent and science-based body, dedicated to protecting public health and consumer interests in the area of food safety and hygiene. It comes under the aegis of the Minister for Health and has a Board of 10 members. It also has a 15-member Scientific Committee that assists and advises the Board. Therefore, decisions relating to food safety and hygiene take account of the latest and best scientific advice and information available.

The FSAI is responsible for:

  • Putting consumers’ interests first and foremost;
  • Managing risk in association with official agencies and the food sector, and communicating risks to consumers, public health professionals and the agri-food industry;
  • Ensuring the co-ordinated and seamless delivery of effective food safety services to an agreed high standard by the various State agencies involved;
  • Ensuring that food complies with legal requirements, or where appropriate, with recognised codes of good practice;
  • Working with the agri-food, service and hospitality sectors to gain their commitment to the production and service of safe food;
  • Setting food standards based on sound science and risk assessment; and
  • Providing advice to Ministers, official agencies, the food industry and consumers on food safety issues.

Membership of the Board of the FSAI

Details of Appointment

In the next two months, there will be a vacancy for the position of Chairperson of the FSAI Board. The Board is appointed by the Minister for Health in line with the provisions of Section 31 of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act 1998 (FSAI Act No 29 of 1998).

The Chairperson of the Board is appointed by the Minister for a term of 5 years in line with Section 32 of the FSAI Act 1998. Persons being proposed for appointment as chairperson of the Board will be required to make themselves available to the appropriate Oireachtas Committee to discuss the approach which they will take to their role as chairperson and their views about the future contribution of the FSAI. Following that discussion, decisions will be taken by the Minister or the Government, as appropriate, to confirm the nominee as chairperson.

Information on the current Board of the FSAI can be found on the Authority’s website (FSAI Board Members).

The roles and responsibilities of Board Members are described in the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies 2009 which is available on the website of the Department of Finance (CoP State Bodies 2009). The FSAI Board has 6 regular meetings annually.

The FSAI is a Category 3 Board. Remuneration of Board members, as well as travel and subsistence allowances, is paid in line with Government guidelines. The current rate of remuneration for the Chairperson is €11,970 per annum. Members will be required to devote as much time to duties on the Board as is necessary for the proper and efficient discharge of their duties, and to comply with the relevant provisions of the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies.

It should be noted however, that under revised Department of Finance arrangements, it is now a requirement that public servants:

  • who sit on state boards in an ex officio capacity or on behalf of their parent Department/organisation or
  • who may be nominated to such board positions independently of their public service employment

should not be paid remuneration in the form of board fees when serving in such a representational capacity. It should also be noted that Board members, including Chairperson, may voluntarily waive their right to any remuneration.

Board Member Expertise

Members of the Board perform key roles in relation to the direction, leadership and corporate governance of the FSAI. Members of the Board would be expected to have experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas: corporate governance, finance, quality assurance, food science, veterinary medicine, scientific risk assessment, public health nutrition, communication and European affairs.

Additional Information

It should also be noted that Board members on appointment assume significant duties such as responsibility for the proper conduct of the organisation‘s affairs, to hold information obtained in their role as Board member confidential and to act in accordance with public policy and high standards of probity.

In order to qualify for appointment a person must not have any conflicts of interest likely to interfere with his/her ability to play a full part on the board.

How to apply

Interested applicants should register an Expression of Interest through the Public Appointments Service at Applicants who have not previously registered with the Public Appointments Service will be required to register to apply for the posts.

The application process will consist of the following steps:

  • Registering with (if not already registered)
  • Downloading and completing a short PDF based questionnaire
  • Completing an online application form
  • Attaching the completed PDF questionnaire
  • Attaching combined CV and cover letter

By submitting an expression of interest the applicant accepts that appointments are made in the exercise of a statutory discretion, that the Minister is not obliged to consider the expressions of interest offered, that he is not confined to recommending an appointment from amongst those who have expressed an interest and is not bound by any statement set out in the notice. Applications will be accepted up to and including 1st March 2012.

Results will be posted on this website. We will treat all applications /expressions of interest confidentially and information will only be given to the appropriate personnel.

Further information

Further information on the work of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland is available on its website at: