ÉIRE 20 Bealtaine 2013
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the audit functions of the C&AG ?
A: The Comptroller and Auditor General is responsible for the audit of accounts across a wide range of State activities. In particular he is responsible for the audit of
- Government Departments and Offices
- Funds administered by Government Departments
- State Revenue Collection
- Non-Commercial State Sponsored Bodies
- Bodies such as Universities and other Third Level Educational Institutions, Health Boards and Agencies, Vocational Education Committees.
In addition the Comptroller and Auditor General is responsible for controlling the issue of moneys from the Exchequer by certifying that the issue relates to services which have been authorised by Dáil Éireann.
The C&AG also carries out a number of joint audits of North/South Bodies in conjunction with his Northern Ireland counterpart.
The C&AG may at his discretion carry out a Value for Money examination of those entities audited by him. A Value for Money examination looks at the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which an entity has used its resources and discharged its functions.Q. Is the CA&G responsible for the audit of Local Government accounts?
A. The C&AG is not responsible for the audit of the accounts of Local Government. The audit of such bodies is carried out by the Local Government Audit Service attached to the Department of Environment and Local Government.
Q. Is the C&AG responsible for the audit of the accounts of commercial State-Sponsored Bodies ?
A. No, Commercial State-Sponsored Bodies do not fall within the remit of the C&AG. They are audited by private sector firms of auditors.
Q. Can the C&AG inspect the accounts of other organisations ?
A. Yes, the C&AG can inspect the books,accounts and other records of regional tourism organisations and other bodies which receive 50% or more of their annual income from the State.
Q. What is the C&AGs function as Comptroller ?
A. The "Comptroller" function concerns the issue of moneys from the Exchequer. When satisfied that ther required issue pertains to services which have been authorised by Dáil Éireann, the C&AG notifies the Central Bank that it is in order to proceed.
Q. Will the C&AG investigate a particular matter raised by a member of the public ?
A. The C&AG will consider all circumstances involving an abuse of public funds, brought to his attention by members of the public. Whether a particular matter warrants investigation or examination as part of the normal financial audit, will depend on the particular circumstances of the case, its materiality and the evidence available to substantiate the circumstances surrounding the alleged abuse of public funds.
Q. What is the C&AGs relationship with the Dáil ?
A. The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), is an independent Constitutional Officer, appointed by the President on the nomination of the Dáil.
The C&AG's relationship with the Dáil is essentially a reporting one. All reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General are presented to Dáil Éireann and are examined on behalf of the Dáil by a committee known as the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC).
While there are close working relations between the PAC and the C&AG, the two are quite independent both in law and in practice. The C&AG or in his absence, a senior member of staff, attends the meetings of the PAC as a permanent witness.
Q. Who audits the accounts of the Office of the C&AG ?
A. The audit of the accounts of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General are independently carried out by a contract firm of accountants.
Q. Are the records of the Office of the C&AG subject to the FOI Act ?
A. Under the 1997 Freedom of Information Act, records relating to the general administration of the Office are subject to release. Records relating to an audit, inspection or examination carried out by the Office (other than a record created before the commencement of the audit, inspection or examination) are not subject to release under the Act.