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
Mr. Michael McCarthy:
Deputy Gould raised a number of issues there. I cannot comment directly on the Minister’s contribution on the housing stock, suffice to say that the Deputy is right to say that we use the word “encourage”. When we identify a good practice in a local authority, or indeed, a practice that is not so good, we showcase the good practice at our annual good practice seminar. That is where the element of the carrot approach is. We let other local authorities feed into that process and to bring those learnings and experiences with them in order to improve their own level of service in that particular sector.
Beyond that, we do not have a PI on derelict sites. We will very quickly stray into policy territory. We do not have a role in policy. Our statutory remit is very clear. Our role is to provide a level of oversight, scrutiny and, in particular, financial scrutiny. The Deputy quite rightly brought the emotion into the issue of someone who was waiting for repairs to a local authority house.
I understand that completely but our perspective is to look at the cost per unit. That is the difference between our statutory remit and the policy decisions that would be taken around that.