Tuesday 21 November 2017

John McGuinness: Our work for public is being thwarted

Powerful vested interests and a lack of political support are blocking efforts to ensure transparency, accountability and rigour

John McGuinness

In the eyes of the Irish people, The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is the most powerful and effective committee in the Dail. That is because successive PACs have taken the limited powers at their disposal and made the most of them in their efforts to, track, trace and account for the billions of euro spent by the officials who manage the country.

The Oireachtas must be supreme, because Ireland is a democracy. That said, if weak political leadership leaves a vacuum, public servants will fill it. Indeed, they are duty bound to do so, even if they are not qualified, despite what they may believe.

However, as chairman of the PAC, I feel our efforts to ensure transparency, accountability and value for money are being thwarted by powerful vested interests, who believe they know best, and a lack of political support. Public servants and politicians have lost their way, allowing the systems that run Ireland to become unbalanced, dysfunctional and uncaring. Is there something rotten in the state of Ireland today?

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