How many accountants does it take to spend €29 billion of your money

23rd March, 2009

The Departments of Social & Family Affairs, Health and Education are predicted to spend €29 billion this year. Yet the three Departments have just eight accountants between them. It’s no wonder that the Government has a history of wasting so much taxpayers’ money, and failing to provide a decent public service, when its biggest spending Departments have so little oversight.

With such a large pool of civil servants to draw on, I would expect the  Government to ensure that each Department would have sufficient staff to ensure that the spending of taxpayers’ money is always scrutinised carefully.

I tabled Parliamentary Questions in order to determine the number of qualified management and chartered accountants working in each Government Department. I was stunned by the answers that I obtained, all in the table below: