Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

Local Government Performance Indicators and Public Spending Code: National Oversight and Audit Commission

Photo of Paul McAuliffePaul McAuliffe (Dublin North West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I take Mr. McCarthy's point about it being well audited. The second part of an auditing process is holding the auditor's report to some form of democratic accountability. That is the area in which the current system struggles a little bit. RTÉ covered very widely the local government auditor's reports recently in a programme. It created much public concern around some of the decisions different local authorities would have made around land purchases, contracts and so on. I am pointing out that there would appear to be a gap in the local government system where those audit reports are aired and discussed and where people are held to account. It could be very difficult at a local authority where officials and local authority members must work very closely together on projects for them to subsequently be held publicly accountable for decisions that may have gone incorrectly or where there may have been a financial loss. From an oversight perspective, I take on board Mr. McCarthy's point about the audit. It is the democratic holding to account where decisions have gone wrong that I am questioning. Is that a gap Mr. McCarthy also sees from his perspective? Are there any recommendations or is there any possibility of suggestions from NOAC? Is there a possibility of more work being done by NOAC in that space?


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