Irish Water agrees to appear before PAC

Representatives from Irish Water are to appear before TDs next week to take questions about its spending on consultants.

CEO John Tierney and others will appear before the Oireachtas Environment committee to explain why Irish Water has spent over €50m on consultants in its first year.

The body has defended its spending, saying it can save the state over €2bn in the next eight years.

Labour TD Gerard Nash says it's vital that TDs have the power to scrutinise the spending of public money.

"I'm not impressed at all at the way bout the manner in which this information came into the public domain," he said.

"Fundamentally, Irish Water is a public utility, it's owned by the Irish people and is, and should be, answerable to the Oireachtas."

He said he would personally consider the €50m in fees "excessive".

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is calling on the Government to change the legislation so that Irish Water would have their accounts audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

John McGuinness says it's outrageous that Irish Water cannot be compelled to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

"The Comptroller and Auditor General is the accountant … the chief state financial officer."

"His office is the one that would look at the procurement processes for contracts that are worth millions of euro - that's not going to happen, because he is now being excluded from doiung that."

"It wouldn’t be acceptable in any other democracy."

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