Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Questions (209)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

209. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of his engagements with the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General in the context of audits, inspections and or financial examinations; if he has given further consideration to include an organisation (details supplied) as a body that will be subject to scrutiny by the office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5902/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department is considering the issues involved in providing a potential role for the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) in relation to Irish Water, which is a subsidiary of the company referred to by the Deputy.  This is a complex matter, having regard to the provisions of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993, Irish Water’s governing legislation, including the Water Services Acts and its Constitution, and Irish Water’s current position as a subsidiary within the Ervia Group, and also the decision by Government in July 2018 that Irish Water will be separated from the Ervia Group to become a stand-alone, publicly owned, commercial, regulated utility during 2023.  Legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General was sought on the matter.

My Department has engaged with the Office of the C&AG, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and NewERA on the various issues and in consideration of the legal advice.  This work is ongoing and I hope to chart a way forward shortly.