Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Selection process undermined, says CEO

The following is the text of the letter of resignation from Mr Niall Crowley to the Minister for Arts and Culture, Ms de Valera, dated November 27th, 2001.

Dear Minister,

I am writing to tender my resignation from the Board of IMMA. I do so with much regret but I have been left with no other option.

My concern lies with the process of selection of a new director for IMMA.

The integrity of the process has been undermined by yesterday's decision by the board to overturn the recommendation of the interview board established to recruit the director.

The interview board did not select a candidate and recommended that the Board of IMMA would widen the search for an appropriate candidate while keeping one of those interviewed involved for future consideration.

The Board of IMMA was pressed by the chairperson to appoint this person without widening the search for an appropriate candidate. The Board of IMMA were asked to make this decision.

  • without any evidence of the suitability of the person being put forward

  • without any access to the concerns of the interview board that decided against appointing this person.

    The Board of IMMA had reserved the right to interview a candidate where there was not sufficient consensus achieved by the interview board.

    This part of the process was ignored in what became a headlong rush to appoint the candidate preferred by the chairperson.

    This unfortunately is not a once off lapse. Process and procedure have been issues in the approach of the chairperson. This was evident in the dispute with the previous director.

    It has been a source of tension at board level in relation to programming decisions. It now arises again in this most sensitive area of recruitment of the director.

    I have worked hard as a board member to devise and have implemented proper processes and procedures.

    After the departure of the previous director I served as a liaison between the board and senior management alongside the mediator Paddy Teahon.

    The focus for our joint work was the development of procedures to ensure roles were played appropriately by all.

    This latest event sets at nought this effort by all concerned. I believe this raises serious questions for the future of IMMA.

    Thank you for the opportunity to play a role, albeit a curtailed role, at IMMA over this past period.

    Yours sincerely,
    Niall Crowley,
    Chief Executive Officer