Cullinane welcomes Government acceptance of need for Public Oversight for Procurement
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform David Cullinane today welcomed the acceptance of his amendments to make the new shared services office answerable to the Public Accounts Committee.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“Today, a Bill to establish that shared services office was before the Committee and I tabled a number of amendments to ensure that proper public oversight would be in place.
“The shared services offices, once established, will have significant power in the issuing of public procurement contracts.
“It is vitally important that those who spend public funds, in whatever manner, are answerable to the Oireachtas, not just the Minister.
“Public trust in public institutions is at an all-time low. Either we recognise this and work to build it up again or we abdicate our responsibilities as legislators and feed the apathy.
“The government had initially excluded this new office from the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee.
“This was unacceptable to me and so I tabled a number of amendments to address this issue.
“I am happy to say my amendments were accepted and the national shared services office, once established, will now be fully answerable to the Public Accounts Committee.
“Another of my amendments, which would have seen the pay of board members subject to review by the finance committee, was rejected by the government.
“I will be resubmitting this again at report stage as we have had too many scandals involving pay and allowances above and beyond ministerial guidelines to simply ignore the issue.
“Overall, we need more openness and transparency in our public sector and I will continue to work towards that goal.”