Thursday 22 March 2018

John McGuinness: PAC must steer country on the right course now politics has lost its way

Howlin's move to push committee to one side on the banking inquiry should be viewed with suspicion, writes John McGuinness

Minister for Public Sector Reform, Brendan Howlin, has floated the possibility that the bank inquiry could be conducted by a Dail committee other than the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

His Labour colleague Alex White has quickly come out to support that position. Transport Minister Leo Varadkar was also sent on the airwaves to deal with my strong objections to this. Leo had no doubt about the committee's ability to do the work, but he was concerned that we were already doing too much. I can assure him that he has no need to worry. But I worry about what is going on.

I have no doubt that this opinion is shared by many of the senior civil servants. They too would say that PAC is doing too much -- too much digging, too much investigating, too much searching for the truth, and too much tugging at the veil of half answers, memory lapses and obfuscations that covers a mind-boggling degree of incompetence and inefficiency, for which no one is ever found responsible.

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