Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General 2008

Press Release

Dublin Castle11 September 2009

Press Release: Annual Report

The Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr John Buckley, has today presented to Dáil ?reann his report on the Accounts of the Public Services 2008.

The Report, containing 42 Chapters, deals with:

  • the overall Financial Outturn of the Exchequer for the year 2008 including outstanding liabilities at year end in respect of the national debt, the pensions of civil and public servants and liabilities under Public Private Partnership projects
  • the management of selected programmes, schemes and projects and
  • the systems for assessment and collection of taxes and the effectiveness of Revenue?s compliance work.

Some of the findings in relation to programmes, schemes and projects examined include

  • Fraud and error surveys suggest that, in certain schemes, significant amounts of welfare payments are being made in excess of entitlement.
  • Accommodation costs are not recovered for 50% of patients treated privately in public hospitals.
  • Payments have begun to medical consultants under new contract arrangements but more work is necessary to ensure that the envisaged service gains are realised.
  • The costs invested in networks designed to link users to national telecommunications networks are regarded as sunk costs and, in around one third of cases there has been little or no demand for these services to date.
  • The ratio of civilians to Gardaí employed in An Garda Síochána is low by international standards.The number of Gardaí released from administrative duties as a result of the civilianisation programme is less than envisaged.

The report also comments on the arrangements for performance measurement in certain departments, examines the management of selected communications and information technology projects and traces the measures to stabilise the Irish banking system following the financial crisis that began in Autumn 2008.

The report will be considered by the Committee of Public Accounts of Dáil ?reann in the course of its examinations of public accountability matters in the course of the coming year.

Note for Editors

The Comptroller and Auditor General is the constitutional officer with responsibility for the audit of public funds.He is independent in the exercise of his functions and reports to Dáil ?reann in accordance with governing legislation.

The full text of the Report and the audited Accounts are available on the website of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General http://www.audgen.gov.ie/

For further information about the report, please contact Seamus McCarthy at 01-6031080 or at Seamus_McCarthy@audgen.irlgov.ie