The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Mysterious Correspondence Recieved by the Public Accounts Committee re Caranua

Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Public Accounts Committee

Business of Committee

10:00 am

Photo of Seán FlemingSeán Fleming (Laois, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context

We are joined by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr. Seamus McCarthy, who is a permanent witness to the committee. He is accompanied by Mr. John Riordan, who is a deputy director of audit. I am now dealing with the agenda. No apologies have been recorded today.

Are the minutes of the meetings of 18 and 20 October 2016 agreed? Agreed.

I want to raise a point arising from the minutes. We dealt with the Social Insurance Fund and the large issue of outstanding insolvency and redundancy payments last week when officials from the Department of Social Protection were before the committee. I propose that we write to the Secretary General of the Department to get a breakdown of the companies or businesses that owe money to the Department and ascertain how many of them are still registered with the Companies Registration Office. I accept there will be difficulties in the case of companies that have gone bust and no longer exist because it will be impossible to collect the funds. I suggest we should seek the details of companies that are still trading after being restructured and are profitable, but owe money to the Exchequer in respect of statutory redundancy payments that have not been repaid. We know we will not get the names of the individual companies but we want to get an analysis of the companies that are still alive and could possibly be pursued to get some of the almost €500 million that is still outstanding. We will send that letter and will get a reply back in due course. I just wanted to raise that issue arising from the minutes.

The next item is correspondence received. This morning we received the opening statement from today's witnesses. Is it agreed to note that? Agreed. With regard to correspondence from Accounting Officers, correspondence has been received from NAMA regarding the release of communications with Lazard on the loan sale process as requested by the committee.

We will consider the matter in a moment as part of the work programme because Lazard will attend soon.

The next item of correspondence is 114B(i) and (ii), a letter received from Siún Ní Raghallaigh, chairperson of the board of TG4 regarding contract details of the director general as identified in the 2015 financial statements. This issue appears to be resolved with a new director general in place in accordance with legislation. Is it agreed to note it? Agreed.

Item 115B is correspondence received from NAMA in follow up to a request for information. It will be added to our folder on Project Eagle correspondence. NAMA was here on 29 September. We wrote to it the following week seeking correspondence and item 115B is the reply. We sent NAMA a subsequent letter a week later for further information. The reply will be received today and the members will get it when it is received during the course of the day.

The next item is 102C, an e-mail from Deputy David Cullinane enclosing correspondence from Nua Healthcare regarding concerns about public sector tendering for residential disability services. We deferred the matter last week due to the absence of the Deputy. Does he wish to comment? No. I propose that we write to the HSE on the matter and the Office of Government Procurement for a response, and come back to it when we get a reply. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The next item is 116C, an e-mail from Ms Fay Buckle, clerk to the Welsh Public Accounts Committee, regarding the hosting of an inaugural public accounts network meeting on 10 June 2017. If members are interested in attending, please contact the secretariat.

The next item is 117C, correspondence received from an individual regarding this committee's discussion on Caranua on the presentation of its accounts and governance questions. The letter refers to comments made by the Comptroller and Auditor General but it is unclear to what the individual is referring. I propose that we ask the Clerk to write to the individual to seek clarity. We will come back to the matter. We will consider Caranua as part of our work programme but we will not put a date on it. I propose that we consider including it in our work programme. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The next item is 118C, correspondence received from Deputy Mick Wallace that includes documents released under freedom of information pertaining to NAMA's interactions with Lazard. I appreciate the correspondence that he sent to us for our information. Is it agreed to note it and include it in our files? Agreed.

The next item is 119C, an e-mail received from Mason Hayes & Curran on behalf of Cerberus confirming attendance of representatives of Cerberus before the committee. We have added them to the schedule and agreed the date of 17 November for Cerberus to attend here in public session. Earlier, I mentioned that Lazard has agreed to attend as well and I will come to that when we discuss the work programme.

We have received a very considerable amount of documentation from the HSE on our hearings on sections 38 and 39 organisations. With the committee's agreement, I will ask the Clerk to look at the correspondence before circulation. It is very voluminous and we want to get it in a manner that will be helpful to us. Following a little bit of work on it by the secretariat, it will be sent to us. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The next item is reports, statements and accounts of bodies received since the last meeting. Members can see them on their screens. Bord Bia has a clear audit account, Waterways has a clear audit account and the Credit Union Restructuring Board, ReBo, has a clear audit account.

The next item is the Health Service Executive's patient private property accounts. There is a statement here from the Comptroller and Auditor General that states, "The statement of internal financial control discloses weaknesses in the HSE's control over the management of patient private property accounts and the steps taken by the HSE to resolve these". I note that there appears to be a turnover of €83 million, which is a big amount of funds. Perhaps the Comptroller and Auditor General would like to comment.

I Have Sent the Following Email

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2016 11:07 AM
Subject: Correspondence to PAC from an Individual Regarding Caranua
Dear Mr. Fleming,
Below is the Copy of correspondence between myself and the Public account Committee as yet I have not had a Response?
I Trust you will find it interesting?
I would be Grateful if you would let the individual that has written to the PAC as outlined at https://www.kildarestreet.com/committees/?id=2016-10-25a.5&s=Ca...
On the 25th October a copy of this Email
ThanX
In Advance
Rob Northall

Thank you Rob for the email below. I have passed it on to the secretariat of the PAC as I am no longer the clerk to that Committee. Kieran Lenihan is the clerk to the Committee now.


Ted Mc Enery
Clerk to the Committee on Budgetary Oversight

Tel.6183867


Inactive hide details for "Rob. Northall" ---20/10/2016 17:51:20---Dear Mr. McEnery It is my understanding that you are the Cle"Rob. Northall" ---20/10/2016 17:51:20---Dear Mr. McEnery It is my understanding that you are the Clerk to the Public Accounts Committee.

From: "Rob. Northall" <rob.northall@ntlworld.com>
To: <ted.mcenery@oireachtas.ie>,
Date: 20/10/2016 17:51
Subject: Caranua






Dear Mr. McEnery

It is my understanding that you are the Clerk to the Public Accounts Committee.

I Note that Caranua were discussed on 13th October 2016 There seems to some erroneous Comments made by

Mr. Seamus McCarthy: As Bellow

The statement on internal financial control deals more comprehensively with these issues. If the committee members review that statement, they will have an idea of the kinds of weaknesses and so on that exist. This was effectively the first year of operation of Caranua. It was established in 2013 but there was little spend that year. The organisation was putting systems in place. Caranua was struggling with having the right number of staff and continuity of staffing as well as getting its systems in place. It has taken some time to get the financial statements for 2014 completed. Currently, the financial statements for 2015 are being audited.

Firstly I ask you make Members of the Public Accounts Committee Aware that Caranua Has a Legal Duty under the Act Governing it to Present its Accounts and Annual Report to Both Houses of the Oireachtas!

Section 19. Annual report and information
(1) The Board shall not later than 31 March in each year prepare, in such form and manner as it considers appropriate, a report of its activities and proceedings during the preceding year.

(2) If the establishment day falls in the period from 1 October to the following 31 December, the first report under subsection (1) shall be prepared not later than 31 March in the second year following that in which the establishment day falls and shall relate to the year in which the establishment day falls and the following year.

(3) The Minister shall, as soon as may be after receiving the report, cause copies of the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(4) The Board shall arrange for a report laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas in accordance with subsection (3) to be published on the internet as soon as practicable after copies of the report are laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Some of the Questions Survivors would like to ask the Public Accounts Committee Regarding Caranua - at The Shame of Ireland can be read at the following link> http://bit.ly/2ewctHp

I would be grateful if you would make Members of the Committee aware of this?

Furthermore Caranua and the Minister have revised the Scope of Eligible Criteria in Direct Contravention of

Section 4. Orders and regulations


4. Orders and regulations
(1) The Minister may by regulations provide for any matter referred to in this Act as prescribed or to be prescribed.

(2) Without prejudice to any provision of this Act, regulations under this section may contain such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the regulations.

(3) Where regulations are proposed to be made for the purposes of section 8(3), a draft of those regulations shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and the regulations shall not be made until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House.

Section 8(3) The Minister, on receipt of a recommendation from the Board or following consultation by him or her with the Board, may prescribe a class of service, other than a class of service referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) of subsection (1), to be a class of service in relation to which the Board may make a determination under subsection

________________________________________________________________

Section 15 Accountability of chief executive to Public Accounts Committee

(b) the economy and efficiency of the Board in the use of its resources,

(c) the systems, procedures and practices employed by the Board for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of its operations,

As well as the Gross Financial Mismanagement of the Finances as Outlined in the Blog above.The C.E.O. has waste Thousands of Euros belonging to Survivors (as the Trust Fund is for the Benefit of Survivors) on thuse over the last 2 years of Agency Staff paying a premium for the use of Such Staff.

Temporary Staff will by their Nature have

Low Motivation

High Turn Over

Poor Team Skills

Poor Understanding of Function and Role

The most Valuable Resource of ANY Organisation is It's staff and Caranua has had very few from its Inception!

Its my understanding that this was impeded by the Minister for Education? But it is the ultimate Responsibility of the C.E.O.!

_____________________________________________________________________

It is My understanding that the Interest from the €110,000,000 is being with held from the Board Contrary to



Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012

Section 29 Management of moneys relating to Board

Part 3

Financial Matters

29. Management of moneys relating to Board

(1) As soon as may be after the coming into operation of this section the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, shall pay to the Agency—

(a) an amount equal to the total of moneys received by the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform from the trustees of a relevant trust and lodged in an account established at the Central Bank in the names of the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for the purpose of receiving cash contributions towards the costs incurred by the Board in the performance of its functions,

(b) an amount equal to the aggregate of the interest on the amount referred to in paragraph (a) since establishment of the account referred to in that paragraph.

(2) Notwithstanding that it may not be authorised by the terms, or may be inconsistent with the charitable purposes, of a relevant trust the trustees of the relevant trust may make, and the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform may accept—

(a) a payment of moneys where the purpose of the payment is to make a contribution towards the costs incurred by the Board in the performance of its functions, and

(b) an amount equal to the aggregate of the interest on the moneys referred to in paragraph (a) which the trustees of the relevant trust confirm to be due, and the Minister shall, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, pay those moneys to the Agency.

(3) The Agency shall establish an investment account into which the amounts and moneys referred to in subsections (1) and (2) shall be deposited.

(4) The total of the amount under subsection

(1)(a) and the moneys under subsection

(2)(a) paid to the Agency shall not exceed €110,000,000.

(5) Moneys in the investment account that are not required for the purposes of section 30 shall be invested by the Agency and any income, capital or other benefit received in respect of moneys invested under this subsection shall be paid into the investment account or invested under this subsection.

(6) An investment under subsection (5) shall be in securities in which trustees are for the time being authorised by law to invest trust funds or in any of the stocks, funds or securities in which moneys of the Post Office Savings Bank are for the time being authorised to be invested.

______________________________________________________________________

The Minister for Education Constantly Denies his Responsibility for Caranua under

Section 10. Directions of the Minister

10. Directions of the Minister
(1) The Minister may, in relation to the performance by the Board of its functions, give a direction in writing to the Board requiring it to comply with such policies of the Government as are specified in the direction.

(2) The Minister may, by direction in writing amend or revoke a direction under this section, including a direction under this subsection.

(3) The Board shall comply with a direction under this section.

There is also a total lack of Advocacy on Behalf of Survivors contrary to

s. 25 Liaison officers
25. Liaison officers
(1) A public authority shall ensure, so far as practicable, that the activities of the Board and those of the public authority, in so far as they relate to their respective statutory functions, are coordinated.

(2) A public authority shall, when requested by the Board, authorise such and so many of its employees as it considers appropriate (in this Act referred to as “liaison officers”) to—
(a) advise former residents on the publicly available services provided by the public authority,

(b) provide to the Board information in relation to the range of publicly available services operated by that public authority, and

(c) liaise with the Board in relation to any application received by the Board under section 20.

(3) The Board may, with the consent of a former resident, consult with a public authority for the purpose of determining to what if any publicly available services the former resident is entitled.

This Clearly States that EVERY Local Authority shall have at Least One (1) Liaison Officer to Help Survivors Avail of Council Services!

It is for these and many other reasons that I and Members of the Shame Of Ireland Request a Full Investigation into Caranua

Yours Sincerely

Rob Northall

Member of The Shame of Ireland



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Replies to This Discussion

Caranua was a shabby deal done by the government and the Catholic Church with the influence of survivor groups that hoped to gain substantial from this fraud It can be said with confidence that the Minister of education had no interest in the outcome of this fund as as can be seen by correspondence I received from telling me that Caranua is not within his remit and and problems I have I should take up with Caranua who I contacted him about in the first place. Is seems the government have thrown the victims of there abuse and the Catholic Churchs to the Wolf's and are in denial this goes to show how weak the government is and a clear lack of leadership and no opposition to the whims of a dictator who it seems has no interest other than holding office. Caranua is a stain on Irish history just like the industrial schools and a government that's in bed with the Catholic Church

Rob well Done! Minister Quinn, Minister O'Sullivan and now Minister Bruton, all Ministers of the Department of Education with responsibilities for the former Redress Board now know as Caranua. We have contacted all three Ministers and have all received the same answer from each of them its not within their remit - but who's remit is it if not the Minister who has the power through legislation to have a review of Caranua at anytime. PAC would have the authority to have Caranua answer financial questions on the spending of public monies, we as the survivors of this trust need answers from those running this fund as to why so many survivors are being refused help from the very fund set up to help those same people. These people running Caranua seem to be able to speak to the survivors as if we are nothing making many feel like they are begging for a few crumbs from the head table. I will stand up against those who are against me, I will be strong and will not be broken by the very people hired to help me , I will never allow another person to hurt me again, if they want to fight survivors again bring it on!!

I Have to say it Beggars Belief and Shows what Utter Contempt the Dail hold Survivors in!

If you read the Email Sent to the Public Account Committee it raise at Least 8 Serious Questions!

What do I Get in Response?

Firstly NO RESPONSE From Sean Fleming!

Secondly this Email which Frankly Beggars Belief!!

I Am Speechless!

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2016 3:21 PM
Subject: Correspondence to PAC

Dear Mr. Northall,

I refer to your correspondence to the Public Accounts Committee on 20th October 2016.

The Committee discussed this correspondence at its meeting on the 25th October 2016 (extract below)

The next item is 117C, correspondence received from an individual regarding this committee's discussion on Caranua on the presentation of its accounts and governance questions. The letter refers to comments made by the Comptroller and Auditor General but it is unclear to what the individual is referring. I propose that we ask the Clerk to write to the individual to seek clarity. We will come back to the matter. We will consider Caranua as part of our work programme but we will not put a date on it. I propose that we consider including it in our work programme. Is that agreed? Agreed

The Committee are now seeking clarity as regards the "erroneous comments made by Mr. Seamus McCarthy".

Apologies for the delay in getting this information to you

With kind regards
Margaret Falsey
PAC Secretariat
016183074

PAC32-I-107

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Sorry Guys  been to busy to reply sooner but sent this today

Dear M/s Falsey,
"There statement from the Comptroller and Auditor General refers to statements on internal control and discloses that the board did not have an internal audit function in place during 2014. He states that the board did not carry out the required annual review of its effectiveness of systems and internal controls. Furthermore, weaknesses in the board control over grant payments in 2014 were identified and the statement refers to the steps taken by the board to remedy these witnesses."
May be an Accurate reflection of the Poor Management but Seamus McCarthy offers this lame Duck Excuse
"Caranua was struggling with having the right number of staff and continuity of staffing as well as getting its systems in place."
In response to this I linked to a blog att the Website stating it was Pure mismanagement and nothing else!
bellow is the Extract

Its fair to say that using a simple management tool and a calculator that this runaway Train could have been predicted Months and Months ago!

A Straight line Graph shows a Steady Trend!

A Graph that takes a rapid upturn is less easy to predict

As you can see a Competent Manager would have predicted this early on and gone back to the Minister asking for more funds!

The Steepest part of the Graph is December 2014 to February 2015, this would have rung alarm bells for me!

So now they want to Cap Applicants could they have seen this coming?

As you can see the answer is a resounding Yes!

All Data is Taken from Caranua's own Website!

Caranua is Currently Preying on vulnerable Survivor by getting them to sign a New Contract Restricting their entitlement to Funds!

Not According to Need

They are using the payment of a Funeral as an Inducement Furniture White Goods

The Latter goes against he ethos that Only Service Provider can benefit from the Fund

Survivors Not Being allowed "Property" is the word in the Act

I am deeply disappointed the rest of my Correspondence has gone unnoted!

Regards

Rob Northall

I apologies for my late reply but wanted to undertake more analysis of Caranua but Hospital admissions and Caring Duties have prohibited this

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