Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Public Accounts Committee

Business of Committee

9:00 am

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

As we have a quorum, the committee is now in public session. We are joined by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Seamus McCarthy, as a permanent witness to the committee and he is joined by Peter Kinsley, deputy director of audit.

Are the minutes of the meetings on 27 September and 4 October agreed? Agreed.

A couple of matters arise from the minutes which I want to move through quickly. Some are of particular interest to our work. In the minutes of the meeting of 27 September we referred to item of correspondence No. 1585 from the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Donohoe, regarding the Tax Appeals Commission which is doing an independent review of staffing requirements and it was agreed that the Department keep the committee updated on the review. I do not think we have yet got a copy of the review. The Minister announced on budget day that it was published. It should be here by now and we want that urgently because the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is coming in next week.

At that meeting we dealt with correspondence from Mr. Ó Foghlú, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills regarding the contribution of the religious congregations to the cost incurred by the State for residential institutional child abuse and he gave us an appendix in that letter, which we received on 23 July, about several properties and transactions that were to be completed by the end of quarter 3, 2018, which was the end of September. We expect to see the outcome of that by next Thursday and to see whether that the promise made in July has been fulfilled. We want that for next week because it should be completed. It is a question of sending us that summary.

In respect of correspondence No. 1507 from Mr. Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform regarding the general indemnity scheme that arose when we were talking about local authorities, he will be here next week to discuss the Office of Public Works, OPW. We want that report before he comes in. Nobody has any work to do on it. I do not know how long the report has been sitting there.


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