Sinn Féin Bill to give C&AG oversight of RTÉ accounts deemed in order – John Brady TD

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady, has welcomed news that a Sinn Féin Bill which he is a co-author, would place RTÉ accounts under the oversight of the Comptroller and Auditor General, submitted in July 2023 for consideration, was deemed in order late last week and will be introduced at First Stage in the Dáil this week.

Brady and his Sinn Féin colleagues have been leading demands for oversight at the broadcaster in the Dáil, Public Accounts Committee and Oireachtas Media Committee since recent scandals emerged last year.

Brady said: “People are fed up with the pantomime over RTÉ, and so are we. Which is why we drafted this Bill back in July. Our objective is to place RTÉ under proper oversight once and for all.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin last week indicated that they could be open to supporting what Sinn Féin has been demanding since July by putting RTÉ under C&AG oversight. Their recent change of heart has been slow in coming, but is welcome.

Last week’s decision to allow our Bill to proceed to the Dáil is a timely one, and will give both the Taoiseach and Media Minister an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is and finally do what should have been done months ago in response to this fiasco.

Trust in the ability of RTÉ to exercise corporate governance and due diligence in the use of public funds has been lost for a long time. The current system, whereby oversight is conducted by the Board of RTÉ by commissioning the audit of accounts, is clearly unsatisfactory.

Other public bodies, including the other national public service broadcaster TG4, are subject to oversight and auditing by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

All we are saying in this Bill is that RTÉ should be subject to the same oversight as TG4.”

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