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PRICES ACT, 1958
Prices Advisory Committees.
1. In this Schedule, “the Panel” means the Prices Advisory Committees Panel to be maintained under paragraph 2 of this Schedule.
Prices Advisory Committees Panel.
2. (1) The Minister shall for the purposes of this Schedule maintain a panel (to be called and known as the Prices Advisory Committees Panel) consisting of such number (not exceeding twelve) as the Minister thinks fit of persons willing and able to act as members of Advisory Committees.
(2) Every member of the Panel shall be appointed by the Minister and shall remain a member for a term of twelve months from the date of his appointment and shall be eligible for re-appointment at the expiration of any such term of office.
(3) Where a person who is a member of the Panel becomes a member of either House of the Oireachtas, he shall, upon his becoming entitled, under the Standing Orders of that House, to sit therein, cease to be a member of the Panel.
(4) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein shall be disqualified from being a member of the Panel.
(5) A person who is a member of the Panel shall be disqualified from being and shall cease to be a member of the Panel if he—
(a) is adjudged bankrupt or makes a composition with his creditors, or
(b) is sentenced by a court of competent jurisdiction to suffer imprisonment or penal servitude, or
(c) ceases to be ordinarily resident in the State.
(6) The Minister shall, from time to time, as he thinks appropriate publish in the Iris Oifigiúil, the names of the persons for the time being forming the Panel.
Membership of Advisory Committee.
3. An Advisory Committee shall consist of not less than three and not more than five members, all of whom shall be appointed by the Minister from persons who, at the time of appointment, are members of the Panel.
Chairman of an Advisory Committee.
4. (1) There shall be a chairman of each Advisory Committee.
(2) The following provisions shall apply to the office of the chairman of an Advisory Committee—
(a) the chairman shall be such member of that Advisory Committee as the Minister shall nominate as the chairman,
(b) whenever the chairman ceases to be a member of that Advisory Committee, he shall cease to be the chairman,
(c) whenever the person holding that office becomes from any cause temporarily unable to discharge the duties of that office, the Minister may nominate a member of the Panel, who is not then a member of that Advisory Committee, to perform, during a specified period (not exceeding the duration of such temporary inability), the duties of that office, and the person so nominated shall, during such period, have all the powers of the chairman and be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to be the chairman and a member of that Advisory Committee.
Resignation of or removal from office of member of Advisory Committee.
5. (1) A member of an Advisory Committee may resign from office.
(2) The Minister may remove from office a member of an Advisory Committee if—
(a) he has become incapable through ill-health of performing efficiently his duties as such member, or
(b) he has ceased to be a member of the Panel, or
(c) his removal appears to the Minister to be necessary in the interests of the effective and economical performance of the duties of that Advisory Committee.
6. If a casual vacancy occurs in the membership of an Advisory Committee, the Minister may appoint to fill the vacancy a person who is for the time being a member of the Panel.
Remuneration and expenses of members of Advisory Committees.
7. A member of an Advisory Committee may be paid such remuneration and allowance for expenses as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determines.
Declaration of interest by member of an Advisory Committee.
8. Where a member of an Advisory Committee enquiring into the price of any commodity or the charge for any service is personally interested in any business selling that commodity or providing that service, he shall inform the Minister accordingly, and thereupon the following provisions shall have effect—
(a) he shall not, unless authorised by the Minister, act as a member of that Advisory Committee,
(b) the Minister may remove him from that Advisory Committee and appoint in his place from the Panel a new member of that Advisory Committee.
Officers and servants of an Advisory Committee.
9. (1) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, appoint such officers and servants as he thinks necessary to assist an Advisory Committee in the performance of its functions.
(2) Officers and servants appointed under subparagraph (1) of this paragraph shall hold office on such terms and receive such remuneration as the Minister for Finance determines.
Appointment of person to assist an Advisory Committee.
10. (1) Where an Advisory Committee requests the appointment of a person to assist it in the conduct of an enquiry, the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, appoint such person as he thinks fit for the purpose.
(2) A person appointed under subparagraph (1) of this paragraph may be paid such remuneration and allowance for expenses as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determines.
Procedure at meetings of an Advisory Committee.
11. (1) The chairman of an Advisory Committee shall preside at each meeting of that Advisory Committee, and no meeting of that Advisory Committee shall be held in his absence.
(2) Every question at a meeting of an Advisory Committee shall be determined by a majority of the members present and voting on the question, and, in the case of an equal division of votes, the chairman of that Advisory Committee shall have a second or casting vote.
(3) An Advisory Committee may act notwithstanding one or more vacancies amongst the members.
(4) The quorum for a meeting of an Advisory Committee shall be such number as it may from time to time fix, and if no quorum is for the time being so fixed, three.
(5) An enquiry by an Advisory Committee shall not be held wholly or partly in public, except with the prior consent in writing of the Minister.
(6) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, an Advisory Committee may regulate its procedure and business, including the manner in which persons may make submissions in relation to the subject matter of any enquiry which it is making.
Power of the chairman of an Advisory Committee to summon witnesses, etc.
12. (1) The chairman of an Advisory Committee may for the purposes of its functions—
(a) summon witnesses to attend before it;
(b) examine on oath (which the chairman is hereby authorised to administer) any witness attending before that Advisory Committee;
(c) require any such witness to produce to that Advisory Committee any document in his power or control.
(2) A summons to a witness to attend before an Advisory Committee shall be signed by the chairman thereof.
(3) A witness before an Advisory Committee shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he were a witness before the High Court.
(4) If any person—
(a) on being duly summoned before an Advisory Committee makes default in attending, or
(b) being in attendance as a witness refuses to take an oath legally required to be taken by him, or to produce any document in his power or control legally required to be produced by him, or to answer any question to which that Advisory Committee may legally require an answer, or
(c) does any thing which if that Advisory Committee were a court of justice having power to commit for contempt of court, would be contempt of such court,
that Advisory Committee may certify the offence of that person under their hands to the High Court, and the High Court may, after such inquiry as it thinks fit, punish or take steps for the punishment of that person in like manner as if he had been guilty of contempt of the High Court,