Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2959)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

2959. 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 Ervia and Irish Water as a body that will be subject to scrutiny by the C&AG; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34032/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I refer to the reply to Questions Nos. 242 and 243 of 12 June 2019 which set out the legislative constraints relating to the potential role of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) with respect to Irish Water.

An Inter-Departmental Steering Group was established earlier this year to oversee and report to the relevant Ministers on the separation of Irish Water from the Ervia Group. Legislative amendments and appropriate accountability arrangements for Irish Water are some of the areas being considered by the Steering Group.

The issue of Irish Water's audit is relevant in the context of the organisation's separation from the Ervia Group. The Steering Group on Separation will consider this issue in the first instance with a view to such proposals being brought to Government in due course. This work will also involve the C&AG and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in progressing the necessary amendments to the C&AG legislation.

The Water Advisory Body (WAB), established in June 2018, is obliged to advise me on the measures needed to improve the transparency and accountability of Irish Water. The advice of the WAB will be factored into this process.