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Central Bank whistleblower exposes breach of standards – McDonald

10 December, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Mary Lou McDonald TD, has outlined her concerns on practices within the Central Bank, which were brought to her attention by a whistleblower.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Following a series of meetings with an individual who had significant and serious information to relate, I’m very concerned about certain matters and management within Central Bank on three levels.  

“Firstly, that an auditor within the Central Bank would be asked to remove or delete findings from an audit report. Secondly, I am concerned that this individual was not afforded the full protections that they were entitled to as a whistleblower. Thirdly, I have big concerns around the lack of compliance of the Central Bank with governance standards for state bodies.

“I raised my concerns at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting today. I met with the Comptroller and Auditor General yesterday. I have also made a call to the Central Bank to publish their financial audit report (on compliance with governance), and to come before the PAC.

“What the report reflects is partial compliance or non-compliance with the code of governance that is set out for state bodies. They report themselves as only 'partially compliant' on a whole range of issues from pay, to risk management, to the code of ethics and procurement. The bank is ‘non-compliant’ in the disposal of assets to a third party. It’s eye-watering reading and it ought to be published.

“Given our experiences of the economic collapse and of the bust within our banks, proper regulation and strict adherence to governance standards is absolutely essential. I don’t believe that good governance in the Central Bank is simply an internal matter for the Central Bank as our regulator and supervisor of the state’s financial services. It’s a matter for all of us.”

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