Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General - Press Release on the 2000 Annual report

Media Release 27 September 2001

Comptroller and Auditor General’s Annual Report for 2000

The Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr John Purcell, has today presented his Annual Report and the Appropriation Accounts for 2000 to Dáil ?reann.

Volume 1 contains the Annual Report which is a composite commentary on the results of the audits of the various Government Departments and Offices.

Volume 2 contains the audited Appropriation Accounts which compare the outturn against the moneys granted by Dáil ?reann for the range of services provided by Government Departments and Offices.

The Report records matters arising on the audits which, in the opinion of the Comptroller and Auditor General, require public accountability or which are matters of legitimate public interest. The matters raised in the Report will form the basis for the Public Accounts Committee’s programme of examinations in the coming months.

It is important to emphasise that the Report should be viewed in the context of the many services provided by Departments which are well managed and controlled. Attached is a quick reference guide to some of the main items in the Report.

Separate special reports on Nursing Home Subventions and Procurement of Tyres in the Garda Síochána are scheduled for publication in the near future.

The Report is also available on our website. www.irlgov.ie/audgen

For further information, please contact Fergus Glavey at (01) 6031021

Quick Reference

Establishment of Digital Hub

  • Need for clarity in defining the roles and accountabilities of the different stakeholders in this ?99m project.

Page 7-12

Revenue

  • The amount of outstanding tax at the end of May 2001 was ?1,176m which is slightly up on last year. Revenue estimate that ?744m is likely to be collected.

Page 15

  • Criminal convictions for tax offences remained low in 2000.

Page 17

  • Scope for improvements in Customs Controls over Third Country Imports.

Page 19-26

  • Relevant Contracts Tax is a successful means of obtaining tax from a recalcitrant category of taxpayers but accelerated change is needed to ensure greater effectiveness.

Page 26-36

Garda Air Support

  • The effective and efficient provision and operation of Garda Air Support has been hampered by inadequacies in management.

Page 40-48

Dublin Traffic Action Plan

  • A review of the Dublin Transportation Office Short Term Action Plan found

  • public transport capacity increased but failed to reach the targets set
  • cost overruns likely
  • co-ordination of different elements of the plans could be better managed.

Page 49-59

Famine Ship Replicas

  • The State funded major cost overruns on the construction of two famine ship replicas – Jeanie Johnston and Dunbrody.

Page 62-69

Coastal Erosion Countermeasures
  • insufficient emphasis on determining an overall national policy for coastal protection
  • the roles and functions of the Department and Local Authorities need to be reviewed.
Page 70-75

Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Scheme

  • A more focused approach is warranted.

Page 78-87

Provision of Additional Telecommunications Capacity

  • the primary objective of providing large capacity bandwidth with low cost connectivity was achieved
  • arrangements for on-selling the capacity were not effective
  • any reduction in the demand for the services could have serious adverse implications for the State recouping its ?60m investment.

Page 89–93

Measures to Counter Drug Abuse

  • The high number of projects approved for ongoing funding indicates the relative success of the Initiative
  • lead in times for many local projects were long because of community resistance, shortage of skilled staff and the lack of suitable accommodation
  • organisational arrangements need to be streamlined.

Page 99-109

Social Welfare Fraud

  • ?21m in overpayments in 2000 of which ?11m was attributed to fraud or suspected fraud.

  • Court cases involving 28 employers and 185 social welfare recipients were finalised in 2000.

Page 110

Page 112

Security for the Elderly
  • Since 1996 some 82,000 individuals have benefited from the Department’s Scheme of Community Support for Older People at a cost of ?18m. The need to continue to operate the Scheme on the present scale should be evaluated in the light of substantial underspends in 1999 and 2000. Likewise the scale of the involvement of a single charity in the provision of services should be reviewed to determine if this unanticipated development is in keeping with the objectives of the Scheme.

Page 113-120

Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands
  • Serious deficiencies in accounting system.

Page 127-128

The contents of this page were last updated on 26/09/03