Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD has today announced that the Board of National Consumer Agency is to be dismantled. This comes as permission has been granted to draft the Consumer and Competition Bill which is to merge the Agency with the Competition Authority.

According to a press release from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the new Consumer and Competition Authority will not have a CEO, a Chairman or a board and will report directly to the Minister. Savings of approximately €170,000 per year in Board and Board-related fees are expected to be made by these moves.

According to preliminary drafts of the Bill, the new Authority will carry out all the functions currently carried out by both agencies.

The NCA currently has a Board of a Chairperson and 11 ordinary members appointed by the Minister. It also has a Chief Executive who is an ex officio member of the Board and is appointed by the Board.

The Competition Authority has a Chairperson and between 2 and 4 members who are appointed through an open Public Appointments Service Competition.

The new body will have a Chairperson and between 2 and 6 members.

Minister Bruton stated that “the new Consumer and Competition Authority will be a consumer rights enforcer with real teeth, a strong regulator with the combined resources, experience and expertise to robustly tackle anti-consumer practices and sheltered sectors in our economy”.

“The aim of both consumer and competition policy is ultimately to benefit the consumer, and this new body will be a stronger advocate and enforcer against powerful interests in our economy” he continued.

Then most recent issue of the PAI Journal includes an interview with Declan Purcell, current Chairperson of the Competition Authority where he discusses the ongoing work of the Competition Authority. To view this article and others from the Journal click here.