We have received apologies from Deputies Carroll MacNeill and Sherlock. Deputy Carthy may join us but may have to pop out for a meeting of the Join Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Due to the current situation regarding Covid-19, only the clerk to the committee, support staff and I are in the committee room. Members of the committee are attending remotely from within the precincts of Leinster House due to the constitutional requirement that in order to participate in meetings, members must be physically present within the confines of the place where the Parliament has chosen to sit, which is Leinster House or the Dublin Convention Centre. I ask members to confirm their location before contributing to ensure they are adhering to the constitutional requirement.
We are joined remotely by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr. Seamus McCarthy, as the permanent witness to the committee.
I ask all those in attendance to mute themselves when they are not contributing so we do not pick up any background noise or feedback. I also members to use the raise-your-hand function on Teams when they wish to contribute and take it down again when they are finished. I ask them to keep their mobile phones on silent or switched off. Members are reminded of the provision within Standing Order 218 that a committee shall refrain from inquiring into the merits of a policy of Government or a Minister of the Government or the merits of the objective of such policies. Members are also reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make a charges against a person outside the Houses or an official by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.
We have five items of business. We have the minutes, accounts and statements, correspondence, the work programme and any other business. There is a substantial volume of correspondence. I ask for members' co-operation with that because our time is limited due to the Covid restrictions.
The first item of business is the minutes of our meetings on 22 and 24 June, which have been circulated to members. Do members wish to raise any matters regarding the minutes? Deputy Devlin has a hand up. Does he wish to raise a matter regarding the minutes?