Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2009

Audit committee.

10.— The Principal Act is amended by inserting after section 14 the following:

“14A.— (1) The Commission shall establish an audit committee (‘committee’) to perform the functions specified in this section.

(2) As soon as may be following the appointment of the ordinary members of the Commission under section 8(3), the Commission shall appoint the membership of the committee.

(3) The committee shall consist of the following persons:

(a) one member of the Commission,

(b) at least one but not more than 3 members of either House of the Oireachtas who are not members of the Commission,

(c) at least 2 but not more than 3 other persons nominated by the Secretary General who are professionally qualified in finance or accounting or have experience of auditing and who are not, and have never been, members of the Houses of the Oireachtas, and

(d) one member of the staff of the Service nominated by the Secretary General, not being a staff member with direct responsibility for financial functions.

(4) The quorum for a meeting of the committee shall be 3.

(5) The Commission shall designate one of the persons appointed under subsection (3)(c) as the chairperson of the committee.

(6) (a) The members of the committee appointed under subsection (3)(a) and (b) shall hold office for the duration of their membership of the Commission or of the relevant House of the Oireachtas, as the case may be.

(b) The members of the committee appointed under subsection (3)(c) and (d) shall hold office until their successors are appointed.

(7) Subject to subsection (6), the members appointed under subsection (3)(c) shall hold office on such other terms and conditions as may be determined by the Commission.

(8) A member of the committee may be removed from office by the Commission at any time for stated reasons.

(9) The Secretary General shall ensure that the committee is provided with all of the Commission’s audit plans and reports.

(10) The committee shall—

(a) advise the Secretary General on financial matters relating to his or her functions,

(b) advise the Commission on matters of corporate governance relating to its functions, and

(c) report in writing at least once a year to the Commission on its activities in the previous year.

(11) The committee’s duties under subsection (10)(a) include advising on the following:

(a) the proper implementation of public service guidelines on financial matters,

(b) compliance with section 22 of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866, section 19 of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 and any other obligations imposed by law relating to financial matters,

(c) the appropriateness, efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission’s procedures relating to—

(i) public procurement,

(ii) seeking sanction for expenditure and complying with that sanction,

(iii) acquiring, keeping custody of and disposing of assets,

(iv) risk management,

(v) financial reporting,

(vi) internal audit,

(vii) internal controls,


(d) the form of accounts of the Commission for approval by the Minister under section 14.

(12) The report of the committee under subsection (10)(c) may be published with the annual report of the Commission under section 6.

(13) The committee shall meet at least 4 times in each year and may invite a person who has responsibility for internal audits or financial matters within the staff of the Service, or any other person it considers appropriate, to attend specific meetings.”.