independent

Thursday 24 April 2014

Dail spending watchdog to investigate €290,000 office refurbishment for its own chairman

THE Dail's spending watchdog is going to investigate the €290,000 spent refurbishing the office of its own chairman - Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness.

It came after the Irish Independent revealed the extent of the lavish spending on the office of Mr McGuinness, when he was Junior Minister for Trade in the previous Government in 2007. And there was a specification that only luxury toilet roll could be used in the en suite bathroom for the office.

At the Public Accounts committee, Mr McGuiness agreed to set up an investigation into the spending.

"I have nothing to hide and I want the whole thing investigated," he said.

And he agreed with requests from committee members to extend the investigation into the cost of office refurbishments for other ministers and senior civil servants.

"If we're asking about ministers and junior ministers, we should also ask about the Secretary General and the assistant Secretary General, and let's see how we're all treated on this," he said.

Mr McGuinnness insisted that the refurbishment of his office was carried out by the Office of Public Works with no imput from him.

"At no stage did I have any involvement  in designing or asking for particular furniture or whatever. If I had known it was going to cost that money, I would have stopped it," he said.

Mr McGuinness confirmed that the total spent on his former office was €290,000 rather than the previously reported figure of €250,000.

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