Role of the Public Accounts Committee

By the nature of its role as the public spending watchdog, the Public Accounts Committee is one of the most powerful Oireachtas Committees. It has a key role to play in ensuring that there is accountability and transparency in the way Government agencies allocate, spend and manage their finances and in guaranteeing that the taxpayer receives value for money for every euro spent.

The Committee on Public Accounts is a standing Committee of the Dáil and is responsible for examining and reporting on reports of Comptroller and Auditor General on Departmental expenditure and certain other accounts. It also considers the Comptroller and Auditor General’s reports on his or her examinations of economy, efficiency, effectiveness evaluation systems, procedures and practices.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Committee share the same objectives – to manage public expenditure efficiently and to deliver value for money for the taxpayer.

One of our key goals is to ensure that spending targets are set and delivered, and that the fiscal deficit is reduced.

Public Accounts Committee – Opening Statement by Mr. Robert Watt Secretary General, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform:

Briefing submitted to the Secretary General, Mr Robert Watt, prior to his appearance at the Public Accounts Committee on 3rd April 2014:


1. Vote 42 – Office of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Appropriation Accounts 2012

2. 2012 Appropriation Account – Vote 12 – Superannuation and Retired Allowances

3. Chapter 3 on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

4. Chapter 4 & 5 – Vote Accounting and Vote Budget Management

5. Note on recommendation in the 2012 C&AG Annual Report – Chapter 5 Vote Budget Management

6. Haddington Road Agreement Key Elements/ Benefits

7. 3rd Annual Progress Report of the Implementation Body for Public Service Agreement

8. Workforce Planning: Redeployment

9. The Protected Disclosures Bill 2013

10. FOI Bill 2013

11. Lobbying Regulation

12. Ethics Reform

13. Civil Service Employee Assistance Service Subhead B14 2012 (B10 2013, B8 2014)

14. Civil Service Human Resources PMDS

15. Civil Service Human Resources Sick Leave

16. Senior Public Service

17. Public Service Reform – Reform and Delivery Office

18. Reform and Delivery Office – Shared Services

19. Reform and Delivery Office – External Service Delivery (incl. Debt Management)

20. Civil Service Renewal

21. School Transport Scheme

22. Proposed EU 2030 Climate Energy Framework

23. Oversight Review Email

24. Distinction between Section 38 & 39 agencies

25. Fees Payable to Chairpersons and Members of State Boards

26. Dail Question PQ 12857/14

27. Rationalisation Measures

28. Voluntary Redundancy

29. Numbers

30. Key points on headline Pay & Pensions Bill

31. Performance Budgeting Initiative

32. D/PER Key Achievements

33. Public Spending Code

34. Water PPP – Focused Policy Assessment

35. Transparency and Accountability in Charitable/ Voluntary Sector

36. IMF Fiscal Transparency Assessment Report

37. Decision to extend Grace Period Aug 2014 – end June 2015 under FEMPI Act 2013

38. Q&A’s for Accrued liability

39. Travel & Subsistence Review

40. Note for Office of C&AG re competitive process or next National Lottery licence & recruitment of consultants for process

41. Staff Exchange Scheme

42. Outline of Changes to Oireachtas Remuneration

43. Oireachtas and Whole of Year Budgeting

44. Consultation Paper on Strengthening Civil Service Accountability and Performance

45. Expenditure Outturn v Original REV Profile

46. Irish Water Costs

47. Baselining exercise of the bank model used across 48 Public Service Bodies

48. Review of Public Service Allowances and Premium Pay

49. Rehab Specific Briefing

50. General Speaking Points on Charities

51. D/PER Staffing Numbers 2011 – 2014

52. Masters & Degree Subjects

53. Peoplepoint Civil Service HR & Pensions Shared Services Project

54. Vote Description