Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (7)

Seán Fleming


7. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Taoiseach the organisations that are included on the State balance sheet and organisations in which EUROSTAT has given an indication that such organisations should be included on the State balance sheet. [34334/19]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

Under EU legislation the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is responsible for the official reporting of Ireland’s General Government Deficit/Balance (GGDeficit/GGB), Debt (GGDebt) and other Government Finance Statistics (GFS) related to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). In particular, this requires the CSO to define the General Government Sector in Ireland. In fulfilment of this requirement the CSO maintains and publishes a Register of Public Sector Bodies in Ireland which is available at: https://www.cso.ie/en/methods/governmentaccounts/classificationdecisions/registerofpublicsectorbodiesinireland/.

This register includes a listing of bodies that are classified in the general government sector. As a result, these bodies’ revenue, expenditure and financial balance sheet data are included in the EDP notification reported by the CSO biannually in March and September to Eurostat and published nationally.

As the Deputy can appreciate, the composition of the register is not static, as Government controlled bodies are established, closed and merged over time. In addition, the market/non-market status of bodies must be continually reviewed. Consequently, the Register of Public Sector Bodies is reviewed and up-dated periodically (at least on an annual basis). This is done primarily through a combination of surveying all central government departments and local authorities, supplemented by independent research by the CSO.

The CSO also includes a section on updates to the register each time it is published. In addition, since 2015, the outcomes of significant classification reviews have also been published on the CSO website at https://www.cso.ie/en/methods/governmentaccounts/classificationdecisions/.

Finally, Eurostat advice to Member States on classification and other methodological issues are published on line at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/government-finance-statistics/methodology/advice-to-member-states. The latest advice published for Ireland was on the classification of Tier 3 Approved Housing Bodies in 2018.