Dáil Éireann - Volume 633 - 20 March, 2007
Written Answers. - Capital Expenditure.
Mr. Bruton Mr. Bruton
Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Finance the projects examined in the past 12 months by the central examination unit of his Department. [10189/07]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen: The examination of projects is a matter for each spending Department. I established the Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit in my Department in June 2006 with the appointment of a Head of Unit and assignment of appropriately qualified staff. The Unit’s initial phase of operations included the development of a work programme and running a recruitment process for appropriately skilled expenditure evaluators. Two evaluators have recently been appointed from this competition. In addition, my Department currently has four participants in the Masters Programme in Policy Analysis delivered by the Institute of Public Administration in association with the Faculty of Commerce, UCD. Upon completion of the programme, they will be assigned as expenditure eval uators to the Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit, two in mid 2007 and two in mid 2008.
The Unit’s work programme for the next twelve months will focus on checking compliance with the capital expenditure VFM frameworks, including undertaking its own programme of spot checks of individual capital projects; overseeing roll out by Departments of the programme of reviews under the Value for Money and Policy Review initiative and development and roll out of a scheme of programme evaluation under the new National Development Plan (2007-2013).
Spot checks of capital projects are in the first instance the responsibility of each spending Department, who are required to put a system in place to carry out spot checks of projects to ensure compliance with the VFM framework and to report the findings of their spot checks annually to my Department. The Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit in my Department will review these spot check reports and may also directly undertake its own spot checks of individual capital projects either as part of this review process or on its own initiative.
As part of its work programme for 2007, the Unit will be undertaking its own series of spot checks of individual capital projects. This programme of spot checks has commenced with the examination of a number of projects in the transport sector. Activity in this area will be expanded over the coming months following the recent appointment of new staff members to the Unit.
Dáil Éireann 633 Written Answers. Capital Expenditure.