Tuesday 23 January 2018

Don't ignore watchdog, departments told

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

GOVERNMENT departments were warned yesterday they won't be allowed to ignore future criticism from the Dail spending watchdog.

The new chairman of the Dail Public Accounts Committee, Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness, promised a "forensic examination" of spending.

Publishing the final report of the previous committee, Mr McGuinness said that some government departments did not take the PAC's findings seriously.

Outlining a litany of waste, the report shows that:

•The farm waste management scheme ended up costing €1.1bn, even though it had a budget of €250m.

•The e-voting machines are still costing €182,000 a year to store.

•The outcome of a course run by FAS costing €128m was never tracked.

Mr McGuinness said the report was a clear indication that poor value for taxpayer's money is still going on and accounting systems are not fit for purpose. Mr McGuinness said a "business as usual approach" from departments would not be tolerated.

"One of the jobs of this committee will be to follow up with accounting officers who will have to demonstrate the real changes that are being made in the way departments and agencies are being run," he said.

Irish Independent

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