13 Oct 2021, 15.30

The Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) will meet tomorrow, Thursday, 14 October, to examine the 2020 Appropriation Account of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC).

The meeting in Committee Room 3 of Leinster House will be joined by the C&AG, Seamus McCarthy, and will be split into two sessions.

The morning session, from 9.30am-12.30pm, will be with officials from the Department led by the Secretary General, Mark Griffin, to examine:

During the afternoon session, from 1.30pm-4.30pm, the Committee will consider the Minutes of its meeting of 7 October 2021, Accounts and Statements, Correspondence, its Work Programme and any other business.

Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy Brian Stanley said: “The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications has a wide-ranging brief and is responsible for developing and implementing policies for the management and protection of the State’s energy supply, environment, natural resources, and communications.

“Bodies that fall under the responsibility of DECC include An Post, the ESB, Eirgrid, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bord na Mona and Inland Fisheries Ireland. The Department is also responsible for the National Broadband Plan and the National Cyber Security Centre.

“Areas the Committee would like to examine include expenditure on the National Broadband Plan and the impact of COVID-19 on the rollout of the broadband network in 2020. Expenditure related to the expansion of the NCSC is another area of interest to the Committee, particularly in light of the recent cyber-attack on the HSE. Spending of €50 million to purchase gigawatt hours or statistical transfers from Denmark and Estonia to comply with 2020 obligations under the Renewable Energy Directive will also be examined.  

“The Committee is also interesting in examining issues regarding the remediation of landfill sites which were highlighted by the C&AG in Chapter 9 of his 2019 annual report. Members welcome this opportunity to meet with the Department and look forward to discussing these issues and related matters with Mr Griffin and his colleagues.”

The meeting in Committee Room 3 can be viewed live on Oireachtas.ie.

PAC is a standing committee of Dáil Éireann which focuses on ensuring public services are run efficiently and achieve value for money.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

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