Thursday, 8 March 2018
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Wards of Court
111. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 87 of 28 February 2018, the reason for the contradiction between his reply and the advice received by the Public Accounts Committee in 2001 when the Attorney General stated there was no obstacle to the Comptroller and Auditor General assuming this function (details supplied). [11686/18]
I do not accept that the reply to Parliamentary Question No. 87 of 28 February 2018 and the advice received by the Public Accounts Committee in 2001 are in conflict. My reply of 28 February is that it is constitutionally impermissible to proceed with a PAC recommendation to legislate to give the Comptroller and Auditor General oversight in respect of wardship funds, which are not public funds. The context in 2001 was the contemplated audit of court funds by a bespoke statutory body with some mooted and unspecified, but seemingly indirect, involvement on the part of the Comptroller. There was and remains a constitutional concern regarding the direct involvement of the Comptroller and Auditor General in performing any such oversight function.