EY have been engaged by my Department in two areas in 2019, further details of which are set out below. If the Deputy has further information with respect to the subject matter of her question, I would welcome her providing this to my Department to facilitate further inquiries.
EY was engaged to support the recent Transformation Programme undertaken by my Department. This engagement has now concluded and the Secretary General of my Department, Mr Aidan O'Driscoll, briefed the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality in respect of this programme on 6 November 2019.
The Transformation Programme is the largest restructuring ever undertaken by any Government Department and involved changes to almost every aspect of our work. Our internal programme team, assisted by EY, worked with over 300 representatives from across the Department to design and shape our new organisational structure. Staff from EY engaged at every level of the Department to map and evaluate existing activities and processes to inform the design of the new operating model.
As part of this engagement, EY were also asked to provide specific assessments of corporate functions, immigration service delivery functions and ICT platforms, and to develop a cultural roadmap for the Department.
All EY staff working on the programme were fully vetted to the same standards as are applied to Department staff. Access to Department resources was appropriately limited and contractual non-disclosure provisions also apply.
EY is currently engaged to provide specialised audit staff to support the work of the Department’s Internal Audit Unit and also to carry out specific audit assignments. The contract to provide these services was procured under a framework put in place by the Office of Government Procurement in accordance with best practice. All external audit contractors are required to undergo appropriate vetting procedures.