Mental Health Act, 2001

Accounts and audits of Commission.

47.—(1) The Commission shall submit estimates of income and expenditure to the Minister in such form, in respect of such periods, and at such times as may be required by him or her and shall furnish to the Minister any information which he or she may require in relation to such estimates.

(2) A financial year of the Commission shall be a period of 12 months ending on the 31st day of December in any year, and for the purposes of this provision, the period commencing on the date of the commencement of this section and ending on the 31st day of December next after such commencement shall be deemed to be a financial year of the Commission.

(3) The Commission shall cause to be kept on a continuous basis proper books of account of all income and expenditure of the Commission, and of the sources of such income and the subject matter of such expenditure, and of the property, assets and liabilities of the Commission and shall keep all such special accounts as the Minister may from time to time direct.

(4) The Commission and the officers thereof, shall, whenever so requested by the Minister, permit any person appointed by him or her to examine the books and accounts of the Commission in respect of any financial year or other period and shall facilitate any such examination, and the Commission shall pay such fee therefor as may be fixed by the Minister.

(5) (a)  The accounts of the Commission for each year shall be prepared in such form and manner as may be specified by the Minister.

(b)  The accounts shall be submitted as soon as may be but not later than 3 months after the end of the financial year to which they relate by the Commission to the Comptroller and Auditor General for audit.

(c)  A copy of the accounts and the auditor's report thereon shall be presented to the members of the Commission and to the Minister as soon as may be after the end of the financial year to which they relate and the Minister shall cause a copy of the documents aforesaid to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(6) The Chief Executive shall be the accountable person in relation to the accounts of the Commission and shall, whenever he or she is so required by a Committee of Dáil Éireann established under Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann to examine and report to Dáil Éireann on the appropriation accounts and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General, give evidence to that Committee on—

(a) the regularity and propriety of the transactions recorded or required to be recorded in any account subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General which the Chief Executive or the Commission is required by or under statute to prepare,

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

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

(d) any matter affecting the Commission referred to in a special report of the Comptroller and Auditor General under section 11(2) of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act, 1993 , or in any other report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (in so far as it relates to a matter specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c)) that is laid before Dáil Éireann.

(7) In the performance of his or her duties under this section, the Chief Executive shall not question or express an opinion on the merits of any policy of the Government or a Minister of the Government or on the merits of the objectives of such a policy.

(8) The Freedom of Information Act, 1997 , shall apply to the Commission.