Fianna Fáil TD for Laois Sean Fleming has called on Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to take immediate action and deal with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) who spent €2.147m on legal fees without following the correct tendering procedures.
The RTB 2016 annual financial statements have recently been published and highlight the fact that the largest item of expenditure by the organisation was on legal fees. The RTB have not engaged in any competitive tendering process for any legal fees since 2011.
Expenditure on legal fees represented 21% of its total expenditure of €10.3m in 2016. Remarkably this figure was even higher than the total staff costs of €1.5m for the RTB.
Deputy Fleming said, “Minister Murphy recently received cabinet approval for the publication of these accounts. In view of the importance of the RTB it is shocking that the Minister has not yet given a public commitment to deal with this matter. It is alarming that the RTB has not engaged in a competitive tender process for legal fees since 2011.
“In view of the very important work carried out by the RTB for thousands of tenants and landlords across the country, non-tendered legal fees of this nature is damaging to the reputation and good name of the RTB.
“Minister Murphy must give a firm commitment that he will examine this issue and instruct the RTB to take corrective action immediately. He must also explain how these accounts were approved by cabinet considering best practice for the tendering of services was totally ignored.”