Fianna Fáil is using its Private Members Time in the Dáil this week to debate the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Bill 2017 as the cost of the National Children’s Hospital has spiralled out of control. The Bill would give greater oversight on the spending of major capital projects

 

Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Dara Calleary TD said “The Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Bill which I introduced in 2017, seeks to tighten up public scrutiny of spending on major capital projects. The phenomenal rising costs of the National Children’s Hospital is a perfect example of how these projects can run away without the right checks and balances.

 

“The Bill would mandate the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) to formally review the performance of key projects that reach certain spending levels. We know that an extra €99 million is needed in 2019 alone; to plug the gap caused by the huge overspend on the National Children’s Hospital.

 

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Barry Cowen TD said “Over €116bn is scheduled to be spent on capital projects from 2018-2027. If the kind of increases we have seen in the National Children’s Hospital is replicated across that plan it would cost tax payers an additional €40bn over ten years. We need to learn lessons and apply them to avoid future financial waste.

 

“We need more transparency in the way that public money is spent, to guarantee value for money and to ensure best practise is adhered to. Our Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Bill will help to achieve that in the long run,” concluded Deputy Cowen.