Sunday 11 December 2016

You have to wonder if the penny will drop

Vast sums of public money continue to be 'invested' -- but just who is accountable, asks Fiona O'Shea

Published 02/10/2011 | 05:00

THE State has pumped €65bn and rising into the Irish financial institutions and it is not clear who is watching over these funds. We are told that three State agencies -- the Department of Finance, National Treasury Management Agency and the National Pensions Reserve Fund -- all have a finger in this enormous pie. But having three arms of the State involved in managing one project is fraught with risk.

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There will most likely be tensions between the three. There will most likely be rivalry. There will most likely be a lack of communication, and there will almost definitely be duplication of work. All of which will result in a hefty bill for the taxpayer.

Most worrying of all, though, is that the absence of clear lines of responsibility for the "investment" of vast sums from the public purse will lead to a complete lack of accountability. Once again, we run the risk of seeing the Government spend huge amounts of our money without telling us who will be held to account for its safe keeping.

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