Friday 24 November 2017

Editorial: Spend our money with due care and attention

Court fines will soon be able to be paid in shops
Court fines will soon be able to be paid in shops


The annual report of the Comptroller and Auditor General is usually followed by some hand-wringing for a few days about the gross waste of taxpayers' money, and then it is all quickly forgotten, until the report comes out again a year later.

What it usually points up is that, in most cases, nobody is held accountable for the waste of public money. This year, however, there does appear to be a sea change and the result is that - apart from some examples of waste - we are seeing a new and welcome attitude in the public service.

While there are still examples of waste - one instance being the purchase of 25 sites by various county councils for €35 million, which are now worthless - this year's report is not nearly as bad as has been experienced in previous years. Of course, there were always public servants who treated public funds as if it was their own money, but their rectitude was always overshadowed by examples of wanton waste.

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