Mother and Baby Homes commission spent €21k on carpet

More than €20,000 was spent on carpet for the office of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).

The details are contained in the purchase orders for €20,000 or above made by the DCYA in the first three months of 2015.

The department paid out €21,948 to Carpet Express Ltd to provide carpet for the Mother and Baby Homes Commission on Lower Baggot St in Dublin.

It spent a further €45,928 on the “supply, delivery, and installation of office furniture” for the Commission.

Another €26,575 was spent on the “supply, delivery, and installation of drawer safes” at the offices of the inquiry, while €42,657 went on the “purchase, installation, and configuration of unified communications system”.

This spend also included wifi.

The inquiry’s total expenditure in 2015 came to €1.676m, despite an estimate which provided for €6m. Just over €1m of this was payroll costs. The Commission employs 16 staff.

According to the appropriation account for 2015 for DCYA, expenditure levels at the Commission were lower than expected.

“The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was in start-up phase following its formal establishment in February 2015 and while the work of the Commission was advanced over the course of the year, expenditure levels were lower than initially estimated,” said the account.

It was reported in December that the costs of the inquiry, which is chaired by Judge Yvonne Murphy, were expected to reach a further €2m in 2016.

The Commission was set up in 2015 and will examine 14 Mother and Baby Homes and four county homes.

It will investigate the issue of mortality rates of women and children in the institutions, living conditions and exit arrangments for women and children.

This will take in an examination of how adoptions were contracted, as well as an investigation into post-mortem practices including burial practices, the reporting of deaths and how remains were used for anatomical research in universities.

The Commission was due to report earlier this year but was granted an extension.

It is expected to present its findings to Government in February of next year.

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