Dáil debates

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions

Harbour Authorities Expenditure

10:00 am

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, DLHC, is a commercial State company that operates under the harbours Acts. It is statutorily independent of the Government and not in receipt of any State funding. My Department is in regular contact with the company.  Neither my Department nor I is aware of any significant unexplained additional payment or expense, due to be returned, to executives and board members in DLHC. As the Deputy will be aware, there is an outstanding matter in relation to the return of travel expenses paid to a former director in 2010 and 2011.  The company has taken legal action to recover the amount outstanding. For this reason, it is not appropriate that I comment further on this matter.

In all dealings I have had with Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company, as with all of the port companies within my Department's remit, I have placed considerable emphasis on my policy that it meet the highest standards of good governance. This was reiterated in the national ports policy which I published in March 2013.

Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company has confirmed to my Department that there have been no salary increases for DLHC management since 2008.  The company also advises that no bonuses have been awarded since 2009. The company’s annual accounts which are laid before the Oireachtas and made publically available each year disclose the fees and expenses claimed by the directors of DLHC. The company has stated all expenses are rigorously audited by the internal auditor on a quarterly basis and that a full annual audit is undertaken by the company's external auditor.

I am due to receive the 2013 unaudited annual accounts which cover the full calendar year of 2013 from the company by the end of February 2014. The final accounts, when received, will then be forwarded to my Department's financial adviser for assessment and any issue arising will be followed up. The annual accounts will then be submitted to the Government and laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas.


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