Mary Quinn, Director of Services, Housing, Corporate Services, Community and Cultural Services outlined that following the establishment of the Audit Committee after the 2019 Local Elections, two of the external members appointed at that time indicated that they would be stepping down from the committee at the end of 2020.
The configuration of the membership of the committee is set out in the Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulations 2014 i.e. the audit committee shall consist of five members and include not less than three external members, not more than two serving or retired elected members and two or more persons having knowledge or experience in finance, audit or accounting.
Ms Quinn confirmed that the following two external members are nominated to be appointed to the Audit Committee for the duration of the Council term of office:
• Ms. Teresa Gibbons, Board member of Carrick-on-Shannon Credit Union
• Mr. Terry Casey, Accountant, Casey Accountants, Carrick-on-Shannon
On the PROPOSAL of Cllr. Enda McGloin
SECONDED by Cllr. Finola Armstrong McGuire
It was AGREED that Leitrim County Council appoint Ms. Teresa Gibbons, Board member of Carrick-on-Shannon Credit Union and Mr. Terry Casey, Accountant, Casey Accountants, Carrick-on-Shannon to the Audit Committee for the duration of the Council term of office in accordance with Article 7 of the Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulations 2014.
Councillor Enda McGloin paid tribute to the outgoing members of the Audit Committee for their strong contribution, expertise, service, and dedication to the job and proposed that a letter be sent to both outgoing members in this regard and wished them both well in their future endeavours.
Councillor Des Guckian queried if the committee can be trusted and sought clarification on the nomination process.
Cathaoirleach, Councillor Mary Bohan called on Cllr Guckian to withdraw his remark as it was an outrageous comment to make.
Councillor Des Guckian said he would not withdraw his remark stating he was not satisfied personally and sought clarification on the following:
• who chose the two nominees from Carrick on Shannon for the Audit Committee,
• who chose the Internal Auditors, Gilroy Gannon,
• who appointed them and on what basis?
Councillor Enda McGloin outlined that he is one of the Elected Members who sits on the Audit Committee, and he assured the Members that the Audit Committee are a very strong Committee who review all reports from Internal Auditors, Gilroy and Gannon. He outlined the level of co-operation and expertise from the Executive is exemplary and he has every confidence in his fellow members on the committee.
Cllr Paddy O’ Rourke stated this is not the first time the issue of trust has been raised by Cllr Guckian and outlined his view that Cllr Guckian is looking for a scandal. He rebutted Cllr Guckians remarks and advised him not to accuse him or anyone else with the question of “can they be trusted”.
Ms Mary Quinn outlined that nominees were considered by the Corporate Policy Group at their meeting of 8th January 2021 and are recommended for approval. Ms Quinn stated that the executive has no doubt regarding their professionalism and competencies to serve as members of the Audit Committee. She confirmed that Chartered Accountants Gilroy and Gannon are contracted to carry out the internal audit service and are very professional.
Mr Vincent Dwyer confirmed that Gilroy Gannon, Internal Auditors, were selected through the national procurement process, via eTenders, for 3 years. They carry out Internal Audits determined by the Audit Committee. The External Local Government Auditor carries out their audit in collaboration with the Internal Auditors and the Audit Committee.
Cathaoirleach, Councillor Mary Bohan said that this is the process that is carried out by other National Organisations.
Councillor Des Guckian stated the number of meetings of the Committee that were due to take place, did not take place.
Ms Mary Quinn outlined this was incorrect and confirmed the Audit Committee meet quarterly and met on 4 times in 2020.