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Tuesday 28 March 2023 Dublin: 15°C


All time
# Children's Hospital
Secretary General Robert Watt accused of 'playing games' with Oireachtas committees
Calls have been made by a number of committees for Watt to appear before them to outline DEPR’s role in the children’s hospital project.
# finance audit
Kildare/Wicklow Education and Training Board boss 'co-operating' with gardaí after Naas office raid
The raid followed on from the publication of the C&AG audit of the financial statements of the organisation.
# Prison Service
'Mind-boggling': Department can't say whether payments to firm were for surveillance of prison staff
The prison service paid two private security companies over a two-year period.
# Naas
Kildare/Wicklow Education and Training Board office raided by gardaí
The Comptroller and Auditor General published an audit into the board’s financial statements yesterday.
# health crises
New children's hospital memos show costs were on the up from summer 2017
The new children’s hospital is currently estimated to cost €1.7 billion.
# personal injury
Over 200 claims made against Bus Éireann School Transport Scheme
The School Transport Scheme transports children who reside in remote areas of the country to and from their nearest school.
# Death and Taxes
Calls for naming and shaming of tax defaulters who do not pay their settlements
From 2016 to May 2018, Revenue received a total of 9,721 ‘good citizen reports’ about suspected tax evasion.
# buying vs rent
State spent over €1m renting Brussels embassy last year, as PAC questions value-for-money
Committee concerned about State renting buildings long-term rather than buying.
# follow the money
'It's our job to question everyone': PAC says probe into president's spending was 'legitimate'
The committee got into hot water before the presidential election when it decided to review the spending of the Office of the President of Ireland.
# Unemployment
Private companies getting €3,718 for every jobseeker that makes it through the State's Jobpath scheme
How much the companies got paid per person has been shrouded in secrecy since the roll out of the programme.
'There's a risk we'll remember this whole episode as a case of two bad, and one good cop'
Our politicians and government, as well as the media, should be prepared to be far more self-critical and embrace change, writes John Devitt.
# High Court
Harris on the defensive after judge criticises doctor recruitment process
“I note that the interview panel described the respondent as ‘eager to work and learn’. But learn at whose expense?” the judge said.
# high worth individuals
New report shows that 83 of Ireland's wealthiest people pay lower rate of income tax than average worker
The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee said people would be “shocked” by the report.
'A cynical political attack': Ministers hit out at questioning over €317,000 President's allowance
Questions surrounding the payment were raised at the Public Accounts Committee yesterday.
# Public Accounts Committee
Explainer: Why examining presidential expenses could be a problem
A number of people have argued that the move by the PAC is unconstitutional.
# aras 2018
Poll: Should there be an Áras costs inquiry before the presidential election?
The total breakdown of Áras costs isn’t publicly available; but some have said that the timing of an inquiry is “politically motivated”.
# Money Money Money
Spending by the Office of the President to be scrutinised next week
The Secretary General of the Department of An Taoiseach has warned the committee it could be in breach of the Constitution.
# Garda College
Watchdog still in talks with gardaí over members' compliance with ethics laws
SIPO is to develop ‘standards of best practice’ for public bodies to ensure they communicate to employees about disclosing their interests.
# Holiday Plans
A missed wedding and missed phone calls: Passport Office apologises for delays
It is “a matter of immense frustration” for staff that it’s taking longer than planned to process some applications, the Public Accounts Committee has been told.
# cervical check
Number of women affected by smear test scandal expected to increase
The Head of the National Screening Service Damien McCallion says more women will be contacted about their cancer test audits.
'I don't want my death to be in vain': Watch Vicky Phelan's powerful PAC speech
Vicky said CervicalCheck and her gynaecologist spent 15 months arguing over whose responsibility it was to tell her about a HSE audit.
# smear tests
Expert leading CervicalCheck inquiry concerned about 'fevered atmosphere'
Meanwhile, Health Minister Simon Harris has received government approval for the drafting of a Bill to establish an independent board for the HSE.
Committee raises stigmatisation concerns over the use of 'welfare cheats' term in department campaign
The Public Accounts Committee also raised concerns about the use of “fraud” in department material.
# Licence Fee
'It's not good enough': Committee says better oversight of how RTÉ spends taxpayers' money is needed
It called on RTÉ to sign up to new service-level agreement to ensure there is transparency in how it spends the licence fee money.
# overpayment
Public servants in shared system overpaid an estimated €3.7 million last year
The National Shared Services Office provides payroll services to 124,600 public servants.
# charleton tribunal
Martin Callinan's 'disgusting comment' led to 'open season' on Maurice McCabe
The Disclosures Tribunal was told about McCabe’s feelings post-that PAC meeting today by the garda’s civilian head of HR.
# Saga
The re-opening of Stepaside Garda Station has been thrown into serious doubt
That’s despite an announcement before Christmas that the station was one of six to be re-opened.
# Resources
Dublin's most senior garda says reopening Stepaside station not his top priority
Pat Leahy said that in terms of personnel allocation, there are other areas of Dublin that he would wish to prioritise.
# lavish spend
Ice sculpture among expenses as Department of Education spent €13k on retirement party
The Public Accounts Committee asked about the costs involved for the retirement party of the president of Cork IT.
# Corporation Tax
Apple and Google to be asked to appear before the PAC to explain their tax affairs
Google, Apple, JP Morgan, City Bank, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer will be invited to appear before a government committee.
# Under Pressure
Health watchdog boss says he was at controversial 'boycott Fair Deal Scheme' meeting
Chairman of Hiqa, Brian McEnery, attended a meeting in 2015, which has sparked a potential investigation into the private nursing home sector.
# closed stations
We'll hear from the acting Garda boss next week - he's been called before the PAC
The committee want to know what criteria was considered when the decision was made to re-open a number of Garda stations.
# Tickets
Committee wants to know why OCI is locked into contract with company at centre of Rio scandal
The Olympic Council of Ireland is locked into a contract with the company at centre of Rio ticketing scandal until 2026.
'It's time for her to go': TDs call for Commissioner to step down over Templemore scandal
The Public Accounts Committee released its damning report today on financial irregularities at the garda college.
# jobstown
'You're deliberately not answering': Commissioner asked 7 times whether Jobstown review will cover garda evidence
The Commissioner said the review will deal with the “circumstances of the entire affair”, but will not cover the court process.
# Under Pressure
New junior minister says Nóirín O'Sullivan 'may well have to resign'
He said some of the revelations to come out of An Garda Síochána “are appalling”.
# Analysis
Garda Commissioner rolls with the punches as TDs go heavyweight
The Commissioner faced a gruelling session at the Public Accounts Committee this week but she let TDs know she is not going anywhere.
# Garda
Rank-and-file gardaí refuse to give social club bank details to management
The GRA has advised its members not to hand over this information as these accounts do not contain public funds.
# Yes or No
The 8 answers the Commissioner gave when asked if she had confidence in her team
Labour TD Alan Kelly said he found it “alarming” that the Garda Commissioner could not express confidence in everyone on her management team.
# honeymoon is over
The honeymoon's over: Leo's facing loads of challenges on his first working week on the job
It’s his first proper week as Taoiseach and he’s already facing his first scandal.