Sinn Féin TD for Laois-Offaly and the new Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Brian Stanley has welcomed the fact that the PAC will have its first meeting of the 33rd Dáil this afternoon.
PAC is set to be the first Oireachtas Committee to get up and running in the new Dáil term and will be in a position to use the Seanad Chamber for its initial meetings.
To enable PAC to get on with its work quickly, the Chair designate Deputy Stanley has worked with Committee staff to arrange five provisional meetings, which include the HSE and the Department of Finance, which he will ask members to confirm this afternoon.
Speaking earlier, Deputy Stanley said:
“I am very happy to say that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will meet this afternoon. We are the first Committee up and running the 33rd Dáil and we want to waste no time in getting on with our work.
“Considering PAC has not met since last December, as the new Chair I made it a priority over the summer recess to ensure that the Committee was in a position to hit the ground running straight away.
“Working with the Committee secretariat, we have arranged five provisional meetings for the Committee subject to the members agreement.
“If agreed by the Committee, our first guest on October 1st will be Paul Reid of the HSE, followed by the Department of Health, Nama and then the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure in late October after the budget.
“I will also be outlining to the Committee a number of reforms which I will be bringing forward to strengthen PAC. These proposals originate from the Committee of Dáil Reform and would allow PAC to investigate matters of public interest which are currently outside our remit.
“As the Chair of PAC, I want to work with all the members of the Committee to ensure that PAC performs to the highest standard possible.”