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Written Answers. - Institution Audit.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 155. Mr. M. McDowell Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  whether her Department conducted an audit of an institution (details supplied) in 1992; the date on which this audit commenced; the date on which the Garda and Revenue Commissioners were called to investigate; the date on which the Department of Finance was first informed or consulted in respect of the audit and matters arising from it, as required by public financial and personnel procedures; the date on which a member of staff in the institution was suspended from duty; if she was informed of these incidents when a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8 made representations to her in February 1993; if she informed the Department of Finance of these incidents as part of her response to these representations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9329/96]

[171]Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach My Department commenced a comprehensive audit of Trinity House School, Lusk, County Dublin on 29 September 1992. This audit was part of a detailed audit programme of all the young offender centres which commenced in 1992.

Certain matters which came to light during the course of the audit of Trinity House School were reported to the Garda in December 1992 and to the Revenue Commissioners in July, 1993.

There is no requirement on my Department to advise the Department of Finance of the matters arising in audits conducted by my Department's internal audit unit. However, when issues such as those which arose in Trinity House audit are raised by way of an audit query from the Comptroller and Auditor General, or when such issues come before the Committee of Public Accounts, the practice in my Department is to brief the Department of Finance and this was done in the case in question.

As a result of irregularities which came to light at an early stage in the audit of Trinity House School, a member of the staff of the school was suspended from duty on 17 November 1992.

Throughout the audit programme, which extended over the period 1992 to 1994, I was informed of significant developments as they arose. The Department of Finance would have been kept informed in accordance with the procedures outlined above.

With regard to the particular correspondence referred to by the Deputy, I would point out that the matters raised therein had also been brought to the attention of the Minister for Finance.

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