Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Public Accounts Committee

Business of Committee

9:00 am

Photo of Marc MacSharryMarc MacSharry (Sligo-Leitrim, Fianna Fail)
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I am sure Deputy Connolly is more aware of this than anybody. It came to my notice there was a transaction in 2007 with Galway City Council acquiring land, it would appear, without appropriate valuations and at a very substantial premium above market value at the time, as well as a number of other anomalies. I propose to speak to the clerk privately and refine the specific points I would recommend the committee considers. Perhaps at that point we would circulate them to the committee, which can decide whether to look into this. I know we do not have competence over the accounts of councils but we have competence over the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, which under the appropriate Acts is bound to approve all borrowing by local authorities. There was borrowing of €10.5 million in this regard so it would be useful for us to examine what level of oversight the Department put into practice. This is just one example I believe is worth looking at, as it may have been replicated in every local authority area in the country.