Special Report 10: General Matters arising on Audits Non - Commercial State Sponsored Bodies     Press Release

Press Release: Report on General Matters arising on Audit

The Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr John Purcell, has today (9 May 2008) published a report on matters arising on the audits of Non-Commercial State Sponsored Bodies, Health Sector Bodies and Vocational Education Committees. 

Background to the Report

The report draws attention to a number of shortcomings to do with procurement, governance and financial management that were brought to light in the course of audit of the accounts of the bodies referred to in the report ? FÁS, Abbey Theatre, National Library of Ireland, Irish Blood Transfusion Service, Science Foundation Ireland, Beaumont Hospital, Marine Institute, Vocational Education Committees. 

Main Conclusions

In relation to procurement generally, the report emphasises

  • the need for appropriate processes within state bodies to ensure that public procurement rules are fully observed
  • the need to remind persons employed or engaged by the State who are involved in procurement of the importance of adherence to ethical principles and avoidance of conflict of interest situations
  • that funding authorities must not give the impression that normal procurement procedures can be set aside just so that funding can be drawn down by the year end.

As regards IT procurement, the report points to the need for effective governance in relation to IT projects. Among the reasons why the IT projects discussed in the report may have been less than fully successful were

  • inadequate specification of requirements
  • failure to ensure that proper consideration was given to the views of all users of the system
  • inadequate evaluation of the concept and of the risks involved and failure to manage the risks in a rigorous way.

The report is also critical of the failure to comply with public financial procedures in specific respects

  • Expenditure by public bodies without the necessary agreement of the relevant funding department
  • Issuing grants to public bodies before these bodies are in position to use the money.

Notes for Editors

The Comptroller and Auditor General is an independent constitutional officer with responsibility for the audit of public funds.  He reports to Dáil ?reann. 

The full text of the report is available on the website of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (go to www.audgen.gov.ie)

The Report is available through the Government Publications Sales Office.

For further information about the report, please contact: 

Chris Cassedy at (01) 6031072 or at chris_ cassedy@audgen.irlgov.ie