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Waste and inefficiency persist across many public bodies: PAC

Committee Chairman John McGuinness has promised to “follow up rigorously” on the implementation of the recommendations of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee.

 John McGuinness
John McGuinness
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A REPORT PUBLISHED by the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee today shows that waste, inefficiency and poor planning still exist across many public bodies.

The report, arising from the PAC’s previous investigations undertaken between July 2009 and February 2011, analyses a wide range of public agencies, including the HSE, FAS, universities, the Financial Regulator and government departments.

Committee Chairman, John McGuinness TD said that the report’s findings “stress the lack of proper monitoring and targeting of expenditure in many State agencies,” and added that an absence of sufficient information and planning “means that often money is not used properly, as no reliable data exists to inform spending”.

The report proposes that:

  • Better targeted schemes are applied in order to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved
  • Better oversight of public bodies is ensured to urge compliance with corporate governance rules and to eliminate waste
  • Rigorous oversight accompany outsourced delivery
  • Adherence to terms of agreements, especially where the state has paid to have services delivered
  • Better risk analysis so as to enable the identification of systemic risk
  • Greater use of indicators to measure performance
  • Analysis of business cases and cost-benefit to underpin new policy initiatives

McGunniess said that it was “not satisfactory that matters being addressed in this report relate to information first received two years ago”, and pledged to “follow up rigorously” on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee.

“To this end also, we have asked the Comptroller and Auditor General to carry out a formal follow-up exercise in relation to the findings and recommendations in his reports published in 2009 and 2010. Follow up is an incentive to comply,” he added.

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