Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Oireachtas TV via PA Images
Schools

PAC calls for review of temporary school accommodation after €56 million spend in two years

A report has found that the longest arrangement for temporary schools accommodation dates back over 20 years to 2000.

THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS Committee has called for a comprehensive review of temporary accommodation in schools after a €56 million spend in two years.

A report published by the PAC today found that the longest arrangement for temporary schools accommodation dates back over 20 years to 2000.

The report raises questions over whether the situation is providing value for money to the taxpayer.

It calls on the Department of Education to undertake a comprehensive review in all schools that have been open for more than five years, before the end of the year.

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley, chairman of the PAC, said: “Expenditure on temporary school accommodation in 2018 was €26.2 million and this increased to €29.5 million in 2019.

“The committee questioned whether temporary accommodation arrangements for schools are providing value for money, particularly when there are agreements that date back up to 20 years.”

The PAC also raised concerns about Department of Education expenditure on posting payslips to staff, after it found €10.2 million had been spent over six years posting payslips to approximately 130,000 staff on a fortnightly basis.

The department informed the committee that it currently operates four separate payroll systems and that an interim upgrade of the payroll system is due to take place before the end of 2021.

Stanley said: “The committee is of the opinion that the Department could use the €1.7 million it is spending every year more effectively than by posting payslips.

“While the development and implementation of an electronic payroll system would require up-front capital expenditure, this would represent value for money for the State in the long-term.

“We recommend that the department begins to develop an electronic payroll system as a matter of urgency, provide a detailed timeline for the development of this system by the third quarter of this year and give the Committee annual updates on its progress.”

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
18
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel