Okay. Is everyone else happy? We will note the statements and accounts. Is that agreed? Agreed. As usual, the list of accounts and financial statements will be published as part of our minutes. I thank Mr. McCarthy.
We move on to the next item on our agenda, namely, correspondence. As previously agreed, items that were not flagged for discussion at this meeting will continue to be dealt with in accordance with the proposed actions that have been circulated and the decisions taken by the committee concerning the correspondence will be recorded in the minutes and published on the committee's web page. Six items of correspondence have been flagged under category B, namely, correspondence from Accounting Officers or Ministers and follow-up to meetings of the committee.
No. 953B is correspondence from Ms Vivienne Flood, head of public affairs, RTÉ, dated 3 December 2021, and is a response providing further information requested by the committee concerning the employment status of contractors who have worked with RTÉ. In that regard, the correspondence refers to the Eversheds review, stating that:
Contrary to claims that RTÉ has been operating as a "bogus employer", arising from this review, we have addressed the employment status of any individual deemed to have characteristics akin to employment. We have therefore taken a proactive and comprehensive approach to dealing with residual issues due to practices which occurred in the past. Since 2019, RTÉ has implemented significant reform in this area, and has adopted an "employment first" principal.
The correspondence continues by stating that because the Department of Social Protection audit process is ongoing, RTÉ cannot provide high-level data such as the numbers of personnel involved, categorisation of individuals, income levels etc. As the Secretary General of the Department of Social Protection previously informed the committee, the audit could take well over another year and will assess the employment specifics of the contractual relationships of some 500 individuals with RTÉ. It is therefore a significant investigation. The correspondence from RTÉ concludes by stating that it “cannot provide any further details as to these reviews, which are either ongoing or pending, either in correspondence, or in committee session, until their conclusion.” Is it agreed that we note and publish this item? Agreed. I have flagged this item for discussion, along with Deputies Catherine Murphy and Munster. I call Deputy Catherine Murphy.