I move amendment No. 3:
In page 5, between lines 23 and 24, to insert the following:
"(3) The Comptroller and Auditor General may, without prejudice to the arrangements for auditing of accounts under this Act, carry out an audit of the accounts of the Fund.".".
I briefly discussed this amendment informally with the Minister for Education and Science. It is a belt and braces proposal. The Minister of State has indicated that the accounts are already being sent to the Comptroller and Auditor General. That is information of which I was not necessarily aware. This amendment gives explicit overt recognition to a practice that is currently happening in any event. I recommend the Minister of State accepts it.
The amendment states: "The Comptroller and Auditor General may, without prejudice to the arrangements for auditing of accounts under this Act, [in other words, it is not challenging anything that we are about to enact] carry out an audit of the accounts of the Fund." That is to protect everybody. If someone in the United States intended to mount a challenge of wrongdoing — we all have some degree of opposition about some sector — and someone was mischievous and did not have the best interests of the alliance at heart, the easiest way to cause mischief would be to query the spending or raising of money or the accounts or expenses. This amendment would be a safeguard to limit and undermine such mischief making by providing that the Oireachtas, on behalf of the Irish taxpayer, could request the Comptroller and Auditor General to put this safeguard and oversight in place to ensure there is no misappropriation or reckless spending of the money and to dampen down or remove the temptation for such mischief making. That is the intent of the amendment.