Department of Agriculture accounts to be analysed by Public Accounts Committee tomorrow

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will meet tomorrow with officials from the Department of Agriculture to examine account information from 2017 which includes funding given to Bord Bia and Teagasc.

PAC will also examine the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, and funding for rural development, maritime and fisheries affairs, and the fishery harbour centres.

In 2017 the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine spent €1.4 billion.

In addition EU expenditure of €1.2 billion was channelled through the Department in 2017. The bulk of this at €1.19 billion related to direct scheme payments to farmers.

The €1.4 billion vote spend in 2017 related to four programme areas: Food safety, Animal and Plant Health and Animal Welfare, Farm/Sector Supports and Controls, Policy and Strategy and Seafood Sector.

Voted expenditure in 2017 also includes significant funding to a number of agriculture related State bodies, including Teagasc, Bord Bia, Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund. In addition €14 million in food aid donations was provided to the World Food Programme in 2017.

Speaking ahead of the meeting chairman of the PAC Fianna Fail TD Seán Fleming  said:“The Committee will be keen to learn more about how it exercises its oversight role for the agencies to which it provides public monies and how it ensures value for money for the taxpayer.”

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