Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has called on the Public Accounts Committee to invite the Clerk of the Dáil, Mr Peter Finnegan to come before the committee to answer questions on the Oireachtas printing press debacle, commenting that “the report the committee received from Mr Finnegan this morning raises more questions than it answers, and only Mr Finnegan can provide those answers.”
Deputy Munster said:
“There are questions around the procurement process, in particular how a printer that was too big for the print room was successful in winning the tender.
“In the report furnished to the committee today Mr Finnegan says that he was advised in advance of his committee appearance in July that the cost of the refurbishment to the print room was in the region of €230,000. He was questioned at that meeting about the cost of the print room, but he did not divulge this information, or give any indication that there had been difficulties and mistakes throughout the entire process.
“Mr Finnegan is aware that the PAC deals with systems, practices and processes that underpin public expenditure. The omission of this information has led to a breakdown of the process of the oversight role of the PAC, and has cost the state upwards in €500,000 in overspend.
“That information, in my opinion, should have been forthcoming at the meeting in July, and I believe that Mr Finnegan has a responsibility to be fully open and forthright as the accounting officer.
“This information only came to light due to a Freedom of Information request from a journalist. That is not good enough.
“Mr Finnegan must come before the committee to answer these questions.”