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COMPETITION ACT, 1991
1. (1) The permanent members of the Authority shall consist of a chairman and not less than two and not more than four other members each of whom shall be appointed by the Minister.
(2) Whenever it appears to the Minister that a permanent member is temporarily unable to discharge his duties, the Minister may appoint a temporary member to act in his place during such inability or for such shorter period as the Minister thinks proper.
(3) The Minister may also appoint additional temporary members for such period and on such terms and conditions as he may specify in the appointment.
2. (1) The term of office of a permanent member shall be fixed by the Minister when appointing him and shall not exceed five years.
(2) An outgoing permanent member shall be eligible for reappointment.
(3) Each member shall hold office on such conditions as may be fixed by the Minister after consultation with the Minister for Finance.
(4) A member may be paid such remuneration as the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance determines.
(5) The Civil Service Commissioners Act, 1956 and the Civil Service Regulation Acts, 1956 and 1958, shall not apply to the office of member.
3. If a member is personally interested in a particular matter with which the Authority is dealing, he shall inform the Minister accordingly and shall not act as a member during the consideration of the matter, unless the Minister, being of opinion that the member's interest is not such as to interfere with the impartial performance of his duties, authorises him to act.
4. (1) The Minister may remove from office a member who has become incapable through ill-health of performing efficiently his duties as such member or whose removal appears to the Minister to be necessary in the interests of the effective and economical performance of the functions of the Authority.
(2) Where the Minister removes a member from office he shall lay before each House of the Oireachtas a statement in writing of the reasons for such removal.
(3) A member may resign his office.
(4) Where a member of the Authority is—
(a) nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann, or
(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or of the European Parliament, or
(c) regarded pursuant to section 15 (inserted by the European Assembly Elections Act, 1984 ) of the European Assembly Elections Act, 1977 , as having been elected to the European Parliament to fill a vacancy,
he shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Authority.
(5) A person who is, for the time being, entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a member of the European Parliament shall be disqualified from being a member of the Authority.
(6) A member shall be disqualified from holding and shall cease to hold office if he is adjudged bankrupt or makes a composition or arrangement with his creditors, or is sentenced by a court of competent jurisdiction to suffer imprisonment or penal servitude or ceases to be ordinarily resident in the State.
5. (1) The Minister shall, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, as soon as may be make and carry out a scheme for the granting of pensions, gratuities or other allowances to or in respect of members of the Authority ceasing to hold office other than members in respect of whom an award under the Superannuation Acts, 1934 to 1963, may be made.
(2) A scheme under this paragraph may provide that the termination of the appointment of a member of the Authority during the member's term of office shall not preclude the award to him of a pension, gratuity or other allowance.
(3) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, amend a scheme made by him under this paragraph.
6. (1) The quorum for a meeting of the Authority shall be—
(a) three permanent members unless the Minister otherwise authorises,
(b) three permanent members for decisions on requests for a licence or certificate under section 4 .
(2) The Authority may act notwithstanding vacancies in its membership.
(3) Subject to this Act, the Authority may regulate its own procedure.
(4) The Authority may, with the consent of the Minister, appoint officers of the Minister to be authorised officers for the purposes of this Act.
7. (1) The Authority may, for the purposes of its functions under this Act and the Act of 1978, do all or any of the following things—
(a) summon witnesses to attend before it,
(b) examine on oath (which any member is hereby authorised to administer) the witnesses attending before it,
(c) require any such witness to produce to the Authority any document in his power or control,
(d) perform such of its functions as it deems proper through or by any officer of the Minister duly authorised by it in that behalf.
(2) A witness before the Authority shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he were a witness before the High Court.
(3) A summons shall be signed by at least one member.
(4) Any person who—
(a) on being duly summoned as a witness before the Authority makes default in attending, or
(b) being in attendance as a witness refuses to take an oath legally required by the Authority to be taken, or to produce any document in his power or control legally required by the Authority to be produced by him, or to answer any question to which the Authority may legally require an answer, or
(c) does any other thing which would, if the Authority were a court, having power to commit for contempt of court, be contempt of such court,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or, at the discretion of the court, to both such fine and imprisonment.
8. Any person may make a submission to the Authority in the manner prescribed by its rules in relation to the subject matter of any investigation.
9. (1) No person shall disclose information available to him by virtue of the powers of obtaining information conferred by this Act or by any other enactment conferring functions on the Authority or through being present at a meeting of the Authority held in private.
(2) Subparagraph (1) shall not apply to—
(i) a communication made by a member of the Authority in the execution of his functions under this Act, or
(ii) the disclosure of information in a report of the Authority or for the purpose of legal proceedings under this Act or pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction for the purposes of any proceedings in that court.
(3) If any person contravenes this paragraph he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or, at the discretion of the court, to both such fine and imprisonment.
10. (1) The Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may appoint such officers and servants as he thinks necessary to assist the Authority in the performance of its functions.
(2) The officers and servants so appointed shall hold office on such terms and receive such remuneration as the Minister for Finance determines.
11. The Authority shall be entitled, in any proceedings, to the same privilege in respect of a communication to or by the Authority, any member of the Authority or any of its officers or servants as any Minister of the Government.