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Matt Carthy TD calls for PAC hearing on Leaving Cert debacle

1 October, 2020 - by Matt Carthy TD

Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee Matt Carthy TD has written to the Clerk and Chair of the PAC requesting that senior Department of Education officials be invited to a hearing to discuss issues that have arisen as a result of the Leaving Cert calculated grades debacle.

Teachta Carthy said:

“I have asked that the Secretary General and appropriate accounting officers within the Department of Education appear before the Public Accounts Committee. They must explain the Department's apparent longstanding relationship with those involved with the Polymetrika company at the centre of this. 

“It appears there may be links with the Department going back a decade. Given the liability that this debacle has exposed the State to, as well as the horrid undue stress this has caused an unknown amount of families, it is incumbent that the PAC investigate past services rendered.

“They need to explain the purpose of all engagements the Department has had with this company, what other software or services have been procured and for what purpose. The PAC also has an obligation, in my view, to examine the procurement processes in place within the Department.

“I have also seen a privacy notice directed to students indicating that data may have been transferred outside of both the State and the European Union which raises questions as to how the Department managed its obligations with respect to GDPR.

“I have written to the Committee Chair and Clerk to request an urgent meeting be scheduled, preferably next week. The actions by the Minister in keeping this matter secret for a week did further immense damage. There cannot be a further drip feed of information over the course of weeks and months. Answers are required speedily and the PAC is the best avenue to secure those answers.”

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