Ceisteanna—Questions. - Accountancy Qualifications.

Wednesday, 8 October 1997

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 481 No. 2

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  2.  Mr. J. Bruton  Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton   asked the Taoiseach  Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern   if he will elaborate on his reported remarks when he met a delegation from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy recently. [15671/97]

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I met the new chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and a delegation of his colleagues on Wednesday, 1 October 1997.

At the meeting I commended the increasingly common practice of mid-career public servants undertaking four years' study to acquire professional accountancy qualifications. The commitment of such time will help to develop the skills and know-how to support the strategic management initiative, performance management systems, value-for-money analysis and other measures involved in public sector renewal.

I indicated that it was a very welcome development that public officials are upgrading their skills in line with the needs of a modern public service.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  Would the Taoiseach agree there should be at least one qualified accountant working in the field in each Government Department?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  I remember a time when that view was held to be totally unhelpful because a centralised unit at the Department of Finance controlled everything. The idea of having qualified accountants out in the system was considered to be a bad thing, and there was a practice of not approving accountancy posts. I had some difficulty in my career many years ago in receiving approval for a post on that basis. However, this has changed and now there are many accountants across Departments from all of the institutes. This trend is growing and the CIPFA practice of trying to qualify more people in the public service is to be welcomed.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  Now that the Comptroller and Auditor General Act, l993 has been up and running for more than three years, would the Taoiseach ask the Department of Finance what progress [295] is being made on introducing a full value-for-money audit system into the public service?

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern  Zoom on Bertie Ahern  The question might be more appropriate to my colleague, the Minister for Finance.

Mr. J. Bruton: Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton  It is dealt with in the answer to Question No. 3.


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