Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General - Press Release 1997 Appropriation Account

Media Release for 30 September 1998 on the publication of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s Report on the 1997 Appropriation Accounts

The Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Appropriation Accounts for 1997 is being presented to Dáil ?reann today.

Volume 1 contains the Annual Report which is a composite commentary on the results of the financial audit 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 is the most significant of the reports published throughout the year by the Comptroller and Auditor General on the results of his financial audits and value-for-money examinations. The Report draws attention to weaknesses in management and controls and also to instances where the Comptroller and Auditor General deemed it appropriate that there should be a public accountability. The issues raised in the Report will form the main 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.

For further information, please contact Mr Joe Meade

Secretary and Director of Audit

Telephone: (01) 6793122 Fax:(01) 6793288

E-Mail: joe_meade@audgen.irlgov.ie

Overtime

The level of overtime continues to rise -- almost ?98 million in 1997. Once again, the Gardaí and the Prison Service account for the bulk of the overtime. (Pages 2-3)

Revenue

Under new procedures Revenue are writing off more taxes than ever before. (Page 5-6)

The amount of outstanding tax continues to fall -- it stood at ?1,329 million at the end of 1997. (Page 7)

There is a large degree of taxpayer compliance under self-assessment schemes. (Page 10)

Both the number of Revenue audits and the yield therefrom are down from the previous year. (Page 11)

To date, only three successful prosecutions for taxation offences have been brought despite a big push in this area. (Page 15)

Suggested improvements in PAYE audit procedures (Pages 16-17) and in the control arrangements for Capital Acquisitions Tax and Excise Duty on Wine and Spirits. (Pages 20-26)

Office of Public Works

A fraud involving ?379,000 in the property rental area. (Page 27)

Control shortcomings in payments system and in the management of debtors and creditors. (Pages 27-33)

Office of the Chief State Solicitor

A number of local State Solicitors have refused to pay over costs awarded to the State to a total amount of ?180,000. (Pages 34-35)

Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Civilianisation policy in Garda Síochána not progressing as quickly as expected. (Pages 36-38)

Poor control over Garda stores. (Pages 38-43)

Shortcomings in the management of capital works at prisons. (Pages 44-46)

Environment and Local Government

?323,000 has been spent on a water supply scheme which is not going ahead. (Pages 48-50)

Education and Science

Lack of control at an education centre resulted in ?117,000 being unaccounted for. (Pages 53-55)

Breakdown in financial controls at Youth Encounter Project. (Pages 56-58)

Agriculture and Food

Persistent problems in the administration of EU Area Aid schemes. (Pages 59-65)

Serious financial irregularity in the Dairy Hygiene Scheme. (Pages 67-69)

Redeployed staff paid ?500,000 although not gainfully employed. (Pages 69-71)

Social, Community and Family Affairs

?20.8 million in overpayments detected in 1997 of which ?14.5 million was attributable to fraud. (Pages 73-75)

The Department’s prosecution strategy has been geared up. (Pages 77-78)

Results of the main measures to combat fraud. (Pages 78-82)

Health and Children

?20 million receipt not properly brought to account. (Pages 83-85)

National Treasury Management Agency

The level of the National Debt and debt service costs in 1997. (Pages 86-89)

High cost of realigning our exposure to sterling. (Page 89)

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