Wednesday, 8 October 1997
Dáil Éireann Debate
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.
The Taoiseach: 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: 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  is being made on introducing a full value-for-money audit system into the public service?
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