Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Questions (242, 243)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

242. 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 Irish Water as a body that will be subject to scrutiny by the Comptroller and Auditor General; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24441/19]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

243. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 209 of 6 February 2019, the progress made to date following his engagements with the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and NewERA on the various issues; if a report on the engagements was produced; the actions that will be instigated as a result of the engagements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24442/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 242 and 243 together.

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, there is currently no scope for the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) to have a role with respect to Irish Water.  Providing such a role for the C&AG would necessitate amendment to Irish Water's governing legislation and to the C&AG legislation.

The issue of audit is also relevant in the context of the separation of Irish Water from the Ervia Group, so as to become a standalone, publicly owned, commercial, regulated utility. At this stage, no final decisions have been taken in the matter; however, I am continuing to have the matter progressed and I will update the Oireachtas on the position in due course.