Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 20 December 2012
Public Accounts Committee
Business of Committee
We will commence in public session. I am asking members to leave the draft report on the HSE until the new year when we will have a better opportunity to go through it in detail when we resume some time around 17 January 2013.
Are the minutes of the meeting of 13 December 2012 agreed? Agreed. Are there any matters arising from the minutes? No. On correspondence since 13 December 2012, the following is correspondence received from accounting officers and Ministers. Item 4A.1, correspondence, received 13 December 2012, from the National Development Finance Agency regarding a letter previously circulated to the Joint Committee on Environment, Heritage and Local Government regarding the Poolbeg Waste to Energy project is to be noted and published. Item 4A.2, correspondence, dated 10 December 2012, from Mr. Brendan Ryan, Chief Executive, Courts Service regarding providing a note on the proposed development of Wexford Courthouse is to be noted and published. Item 4A.3, correspondence, dated 17 December 2012, from Ms Marie McLaughlin, principal officer, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform regarding providing information requested by the committee at its meeting of 13 December 2012 is to be noted and published.
On item 4B, individual correspondence and-or complaints, correspondence, dated 12 December 2012, from Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan regarding the examination of multinational corporations' profitability and tax practices is to be noted and published. Our remit is much narrower than our counterparts in the UK who conducted such an enquiry. We cannot do this but we will look for a note on the issue from both the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners and we will examine the issue of tax avoidance at our meeting in 2013. It is not within our remit, unfortunately, to call in any multinational corporation as witnesses. I will inform Deputy O'Sullivan of that.
Documents relating to today's meeting include item 4D.1, correspondence, received 13 December 2012, from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade regarding a briefing paper on matters to be considered at the meeting of 20 December 2012, which is to be noted and published, and item 4D.2, correspondence, received 13 December 2012, from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade regarding the opening statement, which is to be noted and published.
The next item on the agenda is reports, statements and accounts received since the meeting of 13 December 2012. No. 5.1 is Beaumont Hospital Board - financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011. No. 5.2 is Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies - financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011. No. 5.3 is Ciste Pinsean Thithe an Oireachtais - financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011. No. 5.4 is Bord Bia - financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011. No. 5.5 is Special EU Programmes Body - financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011. No. 5.6 is the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland - financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011. No. 5.7 is the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology - financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2011. No. 5.8 is An Foras Teanga - annual report and accounts 2009. No. 5.9 is the National Cancer Registry Board - accounts for the year ended 31 December 2011. No. 5.10 is An Garda Síochána Complaints Board - accounts for the year ended 31 December 2011.
The work programme is now on screen. The IDA and Enterprise Ireland are scheduled to meet with the committee on 31 January 2012. However, the IDA informed us that the CEO, Barry O’Leary, is now unable to attend the meeting. The clerk has asked that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform provide a briefing requested by members in respect of the powers of inquiry Bill that will come before the Oireachtas next year and we will deal with Enterprise Ireland in the second half of that meeting. Also, as I suggested last week, there are a large number of issues arising from our meetings on public-private partnerships which need to be dealt with centrally by the Accounting Officer of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and also by the Accounting Officer for the Department of Environment Community and Local Government and I suggest that we schedule a special hearing on this issue towards the end of February. Is that agreed? Agreed.
Have members any other business to raise? Members are very co-operative this morning. Can we agree the agenda for the meeting scheduled for Thursday, 17 January at 10.00 a.m.? We will meet with the utility regulators: the Commission for Aviation Regulation, the Commission for Energy Regulation and the Commission for Communication Regulation. The agenda for the meeting will be their respective accounts for 2011.