September 29, 2023
Chair of Public Accounts Committee Brian Stanley TD concerned by findings in Comptroller and Auditor General report

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has expressed concern at a number of areas outlined in the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (C&AG) Annual Report where the taxpayer is failing to achieve value for money.

These include the Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland’s (SEAI) retrofit scheme, increasing HSE debt, failure to deliver social housing units and €112m non-compliant procurement within the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

Speaking this afternoon following the launch of the report, Chairman Stanley said:

“The report has drawn attention to major failings within SEAI’s two flagship retrofit schemes (Better Energy Warmer Homes and Better Energy Homes). The report concludes that despite €538 million being spent on these two schemes, subsequent inspections have found that half of the retrofits require further re-work. The report goes on to question the effectiveness of the schemes and states that their impact in terms of contributing to achieving climate action targets has been ‘modest’.

“The HSE’s finances were also identified by the C&AG as an area of concern. The report reveals that the HSE has carried an accumulated deficit since 2005 that now stands at €1.24 billion for incurred expenditure. The report states that this deficit will eventually require state funding to meet the liability. It is essential that we halt this deficit from increasing further and see a strategy for its reduction.

“The Land Aggregation Scheme’s (LAGS) failure to deliver social housing units was once again highlighted by the C&AG. The examination found that 13 years after LAGS was established, no development plans have been produced for almost half of its portfolio despite the potential for an estimated 5,365 social housing units – just 676 units have been delivered since 2010. Once again, the Government has failed to deliver on social housing.

“The C&AG also highlights the National Training Fund as an area for significant improvement. The organisation now has an accumulated surplus of €1.37 billion that could be used to implement training programmes. This is of significant concern considering our chronic shortage of mechanics, construction workers and key tradesmen. We need to see a more strategic focus on expanding apprenticeship programmes, the funding is clearly there.

“Finally, further information is required following the discovery of €112m of non-compliant procurement within the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. This is a huge amount of public funding within one financial year to fall under non-compliant procurement. We need answers from the Department on the nature of this spending and why it could not have been procured through the correct channels.

“These are just five areas of concern that I have highlighted from the 25 chapters identified by the C&AG.

“It is difficult to put into context the level of expenditure that is being lost by the state each year and the level of potential revenue that is being forgone.

“It will be the work of the PAC over the course of the next 12 months to scrutinise these areas of concern and to deliver outcomes that will provide the taxpayer with value for money.”

Follow us online

Latest Tweets

Polls are now closed. 

Thanks to everyone who voted Sinn Féin today. 

Thanks to our Sinn Féin candidates, their families and their campaign teams, all of whom ran an incredible campaign for change.

Tosaíonn Athrú Anseo. Change starts here!

🚨Polls open until 10pm! Make sure you come out and vote Sinn Féin.

Vote for change.

Change starts here! 🗳️

#useyourvote #elections2024

If you want CHANGE, vote Sinn Féin today in the local and European elections in the South.

Our candidates will stand up for workers and families, and are committed to building a brighter, better future for all.

Load More