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Public Accounts Committee: University of Limerick: Financial Statements 2019 (17 Jun 2021)

Catherine Murphy: The first thing the university would go for is a valuation report.

Public Accounts Committee: Vote 34 - Housing, Planning and Local Government (resumed) (3 Jun 2021)

Catherine Murphy: On long leases, I assume the Department must give approval for long-leasing schemes to approved housing bodies and local authorities. How does it determine value for money on long leases, including where Part 5 is long-leased as opposed to purchased?

Public Accounts Committee: Vote 34 - Housing, Planning and Local Government (resumed) (3 Jun 2021)

Catherine Murphy: When the housing assistance payment, HAP, was introduced in 2014, both I and others made the argument that unless it was accompanied by a large-scale build, we would see more and more money used on current, as opposed to capital, spend and we would be paying in perpetuity. In 2014, when it was introduced, there were 285 either builds or acquisitions. In 2015, it was 4,000; in 2016 it was...

Public Accounts Committee: Vote 34 - Housing, Planning and Local Government (resumed) (3 Jun 2021)

Catherine Murphy: I have five minutes in total so can Mr. Doyle please make it short?

Public Accounts Committee: Vote 34 - Housing, Planning and Local Government (resumed) (3 Jun 2021)

Catherine Murphy: Can I just stop Mr. Doyle there? The State, through the local authorities, has had a considerable land bank. The output, in terms of direct builds, is woefully inadequate and below what has been announced. There seems to be impediments to direct builds, which are the most cost-efficient way of delivering housing stock because there will be an asset at the end. However, we seem to be...

Public Accounts Committee: Vote 34 - Housing, Planning and Local Government (resumed) (3 Jun 2021)

Catherine Murphy: I have been listening to "it does not happen overnight" since 2014. To be perfectly honest, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage needs to give us a paper or a document on exactly what it is doing to break that impediment.

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 31 - Transport, Tourism and Sport
(27 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: On the opening comment, why has the interconnector tunnel not happened already? The old Great Southern and Western Railway terminated at Heuston Station. It needs to be connected. It went to railway order in approximately 2015. It is only a comment. It is the game changer and the missing piece, which is not to say the western rail corridor is not important, but this requires to be done....

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 31 - Transport, Tourism and Sport
(27 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: My time is limited. I am not sure that the statement made by Mr. Spratt gets to the point I am trying to get to, which is whether we own any assets or assisted in purchasing any assets. He might provide us with a note on this because we are limited on time. Do we own any assets?

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 31 - Transport, Tourism and Sport
(27 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: I cannot download the material sent to me.

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 31 - Transport, Tourism and Sport
(27 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: On the public private partnership, PPP, contracts for toll roads, was there anything built into the contract? If there is not sufficient traffic, the State must pay the toll road operators compensation. Was there anything built into the contract that would have envisaged something like the unimaginable Covid scenario? Was there any safeguard built into the contract for anything like that?...

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 31 - Transport, Tourism and Sport
(27 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: I am not sure whether I got an answer to the question I asked. Was there anything built into the contract in relation to unforeseen circumstances like the loss of traffic last year because of Covid? Is there a get-out-of-jail clause for 2020 or does the State carry all the risk?

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 31 - Transport, Tourism and Sport
(27 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: Okay.

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 31 - Transport, Tourism and Sport
(27 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: Can we expect to see an underspend on roads maintenance in 2020 and, if so, will it be returned to the State or will it be used in 2021?

Public Accounts Committee: 2019 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 31 - Transport, Tourism and Sport
(27 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: That is fine.

Public Accounts Committee: Business of Committee (25 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: We need to seek that report from the Department of Education and finalise the outstanding issues in terms of the transfers. We did get a report on that in relation to this piece of correspondence. As was said, this goes back to the indemnity agreement. The nation was appalled by the Ryan report where there were voluntary transfers. People took it at face value that there would be goodwill...

Public Accounts Committee: Business of Committee (25 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: To be honest, sometimes I find it difficult to figure this out. Usually when there is a claim against the State, the State Claims Agency takes that on board. It is difficult to attach a claim to a particular Department in that context. Mr. McCarthy might help us out on this matter. Where exactly is the claim stated? Obviously, the State Claims Agency takes over. We may well be asking...

Public Accounts Committee: Business of Committee (25 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: It is important we gather the information and set aside time to consider this. Having engaged with some people who have made protected disclosures or who are whistleblowers, I know that not everyone who makes a protected disclosure will be found to be 100% correct or whatever. We are now at a point where it is unsatisfactory for many people who make protected disclosures, and this committee...

Public Accounts Committee: Business of Committee (25 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: We are told that public consultation dating back to June and July of last year helped to inform the approach to the transposition of the directive. It might be worth asking whether people who made protected disclosures were specifically asked to comment on their experience because there is nothing like people who have had direct experience telling you what worked and what did not. At this...

Public Accounts Committee: Business of Committee (25 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: That is the point. Sizeable amounts of public funds have been transferred to HRI. The origin of this is the gambling tax. Essentially, we know this industry employs many people. It is an industry that needs to be protected. I would have thought this was one of the basic issues identified. We had queries on the letter of 7 May. It was unclear whether the reference was to three quarters...

Public Accounts Committee: Business of Committee (25 May 2021)

Catherine Murphy: I am fine. I only wanted to comment on the matter of CCTV. I have spoken on that.

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