Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Public Accounts Committee

2013 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 7 - Office of the Minister for Finance
Chapter 1 - Exchequer Financial Outturn for 2013
Chapter 2 - Government Debt and Finance Accounts 2013

10:00 am

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Do the officials accept, given the recommendation made to the Minister, that there is now a very deep concern and a strong perception that what was suggested and recommended to the Minister fell short of what was required? Do they also accept that, having been wrong-footed, sidelined or whatever term they wish to use, it is extraordinary that they would be happy to allow an arrangement in which there is a clear conflict of interest at play to be the chosen method of examining the matters in question?

There was some discussion earlier of Mr. Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill, whose integrity is beyond approach. The very appointment of the judge acknowledges - game, set and match - that there is a clear and evident conflict of interest. Different things have been put to the officials in the course of this morning’s meeting, but what troubles me most is that, notwithstanding the fact that the officials said they had no visibility and that they were locked out, and due to the relationship framework, which I will come to in a moment, they now seem to have recommended to the Minister an approach that again raises questions around transparency and thoroughness, among other issues. I find it quite something that this was the recommendation of the officials to the Minister.