November 28, 2019
Clerk of the Dáil needs to appear before PAC – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) David Cullinane TD has called for the clerk of the Dáil to appear before the PAC to answer questions outstanding on the purchase and fitting of a printer with significant cost overrun.
 
Deputy Cullinane said:
 
“The explanatory note that the Clerk of the Dáil has sent to the PAC has raised more questions than answers.
 
“I have the highest of regard for the Clerk who I know to be an extremely talented and professional individual, but we need answers on this issue.
 
“It is the job of the PAC to examine public expenditure from systems, practices and procedures perspective – and it is clear that with the printer there was a breakdown in these procedures.
 
“This led to significant cost overruns which the PAC only found out about because of the work of Craig Hughes and the Irish Times.
 
“This is despite the fact that the Clerk of the Dáil was before the Committee in July.
 
“The Clerk said that a project of this size needs specialist architectural and engineering expertise – yet the error in room dimensions was spotted by an OPW architect who would lead us to believe that the expertise was there, but for some reason not utilised.
 
“The Clerk also says that in his opinion, significant structural adaptation would have been necessary in any event – yet fails to explain why these adaptations were not anticipated before the tender went out.
 
“The Clerk also needs to explain why the necessary retraining of the print room staff was equally not anticipated until after delivery, despite the fact that the new machine is twice the size of any previous printer, uses new technology, and is so large that it needs a forklift truck to load it in what is a very tight space.
 
“Until we have these answers, this story will run and run – and for that reason it is my opinion that the sooner the Clerk of the Dáil appears before the committee the better.”

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