Martina Devlin: Transparency vital if we are to trust civil servants
We already know the Department of Finance's economic forecasts are as reliable as Mystic Meg's. Now comes proof that its accountancy methods amount to jottings on the back of an envelope.
This week we learn, thanks to TV3 News, how the department was €3.6bn adrift in its calculations of Ireland's national debt figures. But when the double counting blunder was pointed out, no move was made to put it right. The lapse was compounded by the department's failure to hold up its hands and admit the error.
So much for transparency and accountability. So much for public trust in the competence of our permanent government. And so much for feeling secure about the foundations on which the national finances are run.