Tuesday 20 February 2018

PAC seeks permission to quiz Kerins, Flannery over Rehab

Angela Kerins and (inset) Frank Flannery
Angela Kerins and (inset) Frank Flannery
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

THE Dail's spending watchdog is to seek talks with a more powerful government committee in a new bid to resolve the protracted row over its efforts to compel two former Rehab chief executives to appear before it.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has so far been frustrated in its efforts to compel Angela Kerins and Frank Flannery to give evidence.

It needs permission from the Dail rules body, the Committee on Privilege and Procedures (CPP), before it can legally compel either witness.

However, the PAC has received indications that it is unlikely to succeed as Rehab is technically not a body within its remit.

In a letter last week, the CPP said the PAC was limited to investigating bodies which are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The CPP said it was seeking further information before making a decision on the request.

At yesterday's meeting of the PAC, the committee agreed to pursue talks with the CPP in a bid to resolve the matter.

Committee member John Deasy said it would be preferable if the chairmen and clerks of the two committees could "have a chat" rather than the situation ending up in "some protracted legalistic nightmare".

The PAC wishes to quiz Ms Kerins, who stepped down from the charity in April, about several issues, having expressed dissatisfaction with answers it received from her at a previous hearing. Committee members also want to question Mr Flannery about his pension and his involvement in paid lobbying on behalf of Rehab.

Irish Independent

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