We are joined by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr. Seamus McCarthy, as a permanent witness to the committee and he is joined by Ms Maureen Mulligan, senior auditor. No apologies have been received for today's meeting.
We need to agree minutes for previous meetings. We met on Tuesday, 5 November regarding greenhouse gas and financial transactions with witnesses from the Economic and Social Research Institute, ESRI, and the Central Statistics Office, CSO. We had our normal weekly meeting on 7 November, for which certain details have been circulated. We had a private meeting on 12 November to consider our periodic report. A note on that has been circulated. We also had a normal weekly meeting on 14 November, last week. Can we agree and publish those minutes? Agreed.
As no matters arise, I will move to correspondence, starting with category A, briefing documents and opening statements. Nos. 2552 and 2562 from the Charities Regulator are briefing documents and opening statements for today’s meeting. We will note and publish these. Is that agreed? Agreed.
No. 2564 dated 20 November is the opening statement from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment for the session this afternoon. We will note and publish this. Is that agreed? Agreed.
Category B is other correspondence. Some items that we published last week have been held over in case members wish to raise any matters. The first of these is No. 2530 from Mr. Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills, dated 7 November provides information requested by the committee following our recent meeting with Caranua on 17 October as follows: a report on the consultation with survivors of institutional abuse; information regarding pension liabilities incurred by Caranua under the public services single scheme; and details regarding four properties that were initially offered by religious congregations under the 2002 indemnity agreement and accepted for transfer to the State which subsequently had to be rejected, mainly because of title issues, and cash amounts equivalent to the agreed valuation accepted instead. We agreed to note and publish this last week.
No. 2532 from Caranua, dated 7 November was also noted and published last week. It deals with salaries paid to the acting CEO and non-acting CEO during the period of overlap in 2018; a breakdown of the cancelled payments returned to Caranua; details of when the 2018 accounts came before the board; details of expenditure of €80,000 under the human resources heading in 2016; breakdown of expenditure on consultancy work; details regarding 317 outstanding applications; any surplus or interest accrued on contributions received from the Christian Brothers; details regarding statutory redundancy payments and the amount set aside for redundancies; details regarding statistics on phone calls to Caranua; a note on Caranua's total administrative costs since its inception; a breakdown of administrative costs for each year since Caranua's inception; and a note on ongoing mediation involving construction companies and alleged defective work. We have already agreed to note and publish this. If any member wants to discuss it, that is fine. If not, it has been circulated, members have it and are free to discuss it among themselves in any forum they wish, but we have already published it.
No. 2544 is from Mr. Paddy O'Keeffe, tax appeals commissioner, dated 8 November providing the regular update which we require from the Tax Appeals Commission. The value of the top ten cases amounts to €2.558 billion. All bar one relate to corporation tax issues. One relates to the environmental levy, which was subject to a recent Supreme Court decision and parties are now reviewing that judgment. All the other cases have been listed. There is a proposed timetable for February 2020. In one or two they expect progress to be reviewed this month. The schedule is there. We note and publish it. There are no details of names of individuals or companies. Many of them are in respect of items that could potentially be more than €100 million. The total is provided. It is in line with the previous report. We are getting reports on a regular basis. We will note and publish that and people can make observations on that.
No. 2545 is from Mr. Fergal Lynch, Secretary General, Department of Children and Youth Affairs, dated 8 November providing an update requested by the committee on pending claims being managed by the State Claims Agency on behalf of the Department, including a geographic breakdown. In particular, I draw attention to the 57 active claims relating to Oberstown detention centre, 49 of which are claims from members of staff. We will note and publish this. It contains information we were seeking regarding our discussion with the State Claims Agency. It is very worrying that 49 staff members have claims against the Department in respect of Oberstown. We will note it. That is a serious matter for the Departments of Children and Youth Affairs, and Justice and Equality.