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The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation released the following statement:

 

Minister O’Keeffe appoints new Competition Authority chairman

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe, today announced that he has appointed Declan Purcell as chairperson of the Competition Authority.

Mr Purcell will carry out this role on a temporary basis during which time a recruitment process for a full-time chairperson will be held.

Minister O’Keeffe also announced that the Government has agreed to the publication of the Competition (Amendment) Bill 2010 to allow for the appointment of temporary members to the Competition Authority to fill current and upcoming vacancies.

Announcing Mr Purcell’s appointment, Minister O’Keeffe said he had made: ‘an enormous contribution to the development of the Competition Authority’s work during his tenure, particularly in his role as head of the advocacy division’.

‘Mr Purcell is exceptionally well qualified for this position and his long career in the public service and extensive economic expertise will continue to serve him well in his new position.

‘I know that he will advance the competition agenda and ensure that the message of the benefits of competition for consumers, businesses and Government is delivered,’ said Minister O’Keeffe.

Minister O’Keeffe said the new Competition (Amendment) Bill 2010 enables him to appoint temporary members to the Competition Authority to fill current and upcoming vacancies in the Authority which have the effect of reducing membership below the statutory minimum requirement.

‘It is vital that the Competition Authority is properly constituted to carry out its important functions, especially in these difficult times when ensuring competition is crucial in helping our economy climb out of recession to become more competitive,’ said Minister O’Keeffe.

Mr Purcell has been a member of the Competition Authority since April 1998 and he is director of its advocacy division. The Competition (Amendment) Bill 2010 will now be formally published and it is expected to be presented to the Dáil on May 6, 2010