We are joined by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr. Seamus McCarthy, who is a permanent witness at the committee. He is joined by Ms Maureen Mulligan, deputy director of audit.
Apologies have been received from Deputy Deering.
The minutes of the meeting of 18 April have been circulated. Are they agreed? Agreed. No matters arise that will not come up under correspondence.
We will proceed to correspondence. There are three categories.
Category A is correspondence relating to the briefing document and opening statements. Nos. 2149A and 2150A from the Office of the Garda Commissioner, dated 3 May and 7 May 2019, are the briefing document and opening statement for today's meeting. Is it agreed to note and publish these? Agreed.
Category B is correspondence from Accounting Officers and-or Ministers, follow-up to meetings of the Committee of Public Accounts and other items for publishing.
No. 2121B is from Mr. Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills. It is dated 16 April 2019 and provides information on the arrangements for the internal audit for education and training boards, ETBs, and the steps taken by the Department to resolve any issue. Mr. Ó Foghlú provides an update on the internal audit arrangements of the City of Dublin ETB and the ETB internal audit unit. We note this and will publish it. We know there have been difficulties and we are pleased the Department is starting to give this matter greater priority, attention and resources. We will take this into consideration as part of our periodic report. Mr. Ó Foghlú advises there is an increased budget, as I have mentioned, and that the Department is jointly commissioning a wider review of internal audit in the sector to ascertain the longer-term support required to deliver an ongoing and appropriate internal audit function. We have mentioned this. One unit is based in Cavan and there are difficulties recruiting people to travel throughout the country. The Department is examining this issue, which we welcome, but we will consider this as part of our periodic report because, as I have stated, we have not been happy with the internal audit function in the ETB sector and it is good that it is now being addressed.
No. 2122B is from Mr. John McCarthy, the Secretary General of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. It provides a detailed response requested by the committee to a number of matters raised at our meeting with him on 28 February 2019. We will note and publish this. Any member who wants to comment on it is welcome to do so. We will take the contents into consideration when finalising our report on housing issues. A lot of information has to be incorporated in the report.
Deputies Catherine Murphy and Cassells wish to speak.