Written Answers. - Westmeath VEC Revenue Audit.

Paul McGrath

Question:

106 Mr. McGrath asked the Minister for Education whether a recent revenue audit of Westmeath Vocational Educational Committee revealed a significant underpayment; if she will give details of this amount under the headings of PAYE, PRSI and so on; the period to which these payments relate; if interest and penalties were levied by the Revenue Commissioners; if so, the amount of these; if a settlement figure has now been agreed with the Revenue Commissioners; if so, the amount of this settlement; her views on whether the matter is of significant importance to instigate a Garda investigation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9306/97]

My Department arranged for an investigation to be carried out into certain irregularities identified by the Comptroller and Auditor General in his audit of the 1994 accounts of County Westmeath vocational education committee. A copy of the Department's report on this investigation was furnished to the Revenue Commissioners, the Comptroller and Auditor General and County Westmeath Vocational Education Committee. Following receipt of this report the Revenue Commissioners undertook a detailed examination of the deduction of PAYE and PRSI in respect of a former officer of County Westmeath vocational education committee.

I am informed by County Westmeath vocational education committee that the examination conducted by the Revenue Commissioners identified underpayments in respect of PAYE and PRSI on behalf of a former officer of the vocational education committee for the period 1985-96. The amounts of the underpayments in respect of PAYE and PRSI are £13,683.81 and £452.35 respectively. A settlement figure of £22,000, including an amount of £8,000 approximately in respect of interest and penalties, has been agreed with the Revenue Commissioners.
I expect the vocational education committee totake any further action warranted in the matter. The vocational education committee has been requested to keep the Department advised of developments in this regard.