PAC asked to review Katherine Zappone's appointment to UN

Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has written to the Public Accounts Committee requesting that PAC examine the financial implications of the appointment of former children's minister Katherine Zappone as UN special envoy
PAC asked to review Katherine Zappone's appointment to UN

The fallout from the appointment of Katherine Zappone as a special envoy is not going away. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

A second Oireachtas committee has been asked to review the appointment of Katherine Zappone to the UN.

Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has written to the chair and secretariat of the Public Accounts Committee requesting that PAC examine the financial implications of the appointment of former children's minister Katherine Zappone as UN special envoy on freedom of opinion and expression.

Mr Carthy, a PAC member, described the appointment as "blatant cronyism" after it emerged the job had not been publicly advertised.

"I have written to the chair of Public Accounts Committee to ask that the committee examine the apparent misuse of public money to appoint Katherine Zappone to a made-up position," Mr Carthy said.

This position is paid for with public money and Katherine Zappone has been appointed without any due process or transparency.

The Sinn Féin TD said: “This may be how Fine Gael under Leo Varadkar does businesses, doing favours for their friends, but it is totally unacceptable.

"Their partners in Government appear happy to support this type of behaviour but ordinary workers and families, who are expected to pay for these favours, have had enough.

'Blatant misuse of public monies'

"The Public Accounts Committee has a clear role to examine this blatant misuse of public monies.”

The letter, sent by Mr Carthy, and seen by The Irish Examiner said the new role "will come at a cost to the exchequer as it entails a salary, expenses and administration costs. Clearly, there has been public concern regarding the value-for-money of this appointment and the process undertaken in advance of the appointment.

"PAC has an obligation in this regard to examine these matters and to engage with the department and Government to ensure that we can bring some transparency to this matter.

"I am requesting that a meeting be convened as speedily as possible to hold an initial discussion on this matter and to agree a process by which we can address the concerns that have arisen."

This week, Social Democrat TD Gary Gannon wrote to chair of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee Charlie Flanagan to request that the committee examine the appointment of Katherine Zappone.

Speaking on Wednesday night, Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen said there are more questions that need to be answered about the appointment. He said the public expects adequate competition and a transparent process which people can stand over.

Discussing the matter on RTÉ's Prime Time, Mr Cowen also said he would not have accepted the job if it was offered in such circumstances.

It is expected this meeting will convene in early September as the Dáil is in recess.

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