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Written Answers - Consultancy Contracts

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 145.  Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  if the external investigation into his Department’s €3.6 billion accounting error was completed on the 16 of March 2012 as agreed in the “Terms of Reference for External Review”; when he will submit the report to the Public Accounts Committee; and when he will publish the report. [16708/12]

 146.  Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  the fee he agreed with a company (details supplied) for latter’s work in completing the external review of his Department's €3.6 billion accounting error. [16710/12]

[754]

 147.  Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald  asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  further to the former Department Secretary General Kevin Cardiff’s confirmation on 11 January 2012 that an Internal Review into the Department's €3.6 billion accounting error had been carried out and a draft report completed by end-November 2011 with the expectation that the final report would be submitted to him before the end of January 2012, if he will confirm when he intends to submit the report to the Public Accounts Committee; when he will publish the report; and if he will make a statement on his delay in making public the findings of the Internal Review. [16711/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I propose to take Questions Nos. 145 to 147, inclusive, together.

The Deputy will be aware that Deloitte Consultants have been appointed to undertake an External Review of the €3.6bn General Government Debt issue. A fixed price of €50,000 has been agreed with the company; this is exclusive of VAT and any associated expenses which are capped at a maximum of 10% of the contract price.

At this stage, the work of the External Review is well under way and I understand that the consultants are likely to complete their work in the course of next week.

In regard to the Internal Report, it is my understanding that this work is near completion following its circulation to relevant parties involved, who were given sufficient time to provide their final comments on it.

Following consideration by the Government, it is my intention, subject to legal advice and in a timely manner, to send the Internal Report and the External Review to the Committee of Public Accounts. It is also my intention to publish them.

As previously highlighted in questions on this matter, it has to be recognised that while this matter was most regrettable, it was a statistical reporting discrepancy where our debt level was mistakenly stated as being higher than it actually was. This discrepancy had no impact on the 2011 budgetary deficit and the State is no better or worse off as a result of it.


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