Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Public Accounts Committee

Business of Committee

9:30 am

Mr. Seamus McCarthy:

The Chair has summarised it very well. I am not aware we have ever reported before on a matter like this. I certainly am not aware of it in 30 years. It is important the control of funds coming out of the Central Fund of the Exchequer is strong and that it is only done in accordance with law. Effectively, the Oireachtas controls the funds in the Central Fund. They can only be released if there is a legal basis for it. It was an oversight and it is accepted by the Department of Finance and the Central Bank that the control should have been stronger and it should have been stopped. The Department of Finance would have been able to get an extension of its credit so there is no breach of the law in terms of the moneys required for spending, but it is a concern that it was not stopped. The control should have been stronger.