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I refer to Mr FitzGerald’s letter of February 11 in relation to receipts for the expenses of members of the Oireachtas.
I would again point to our website, www.oireachtas.ie, where we publish annual audit reports which are produced by an independent auditor on the members’ use of their public representation allowance.
This is a fully vouched allowance. Members must retain all receipts, invoices, and proofs of payment for five years and present them to the independent auditor for inspection should they be among the 10% of members randomly chosen for audit.
Your readers may be interested to know that last year, for example, of the 22 members audited, six were unable to show sufficient receipts or relevant documentation within allowable expenditure categories and €5,176 was refunded by them.
Finally, under the audit guidelines, nominal or imputed rents for constituency offices as mentioned by Mr FitzGerald are not allowed and any rental agreements must be made by two parties freely and independently of each other to show that the price, requirements, and other conditions were fair and real.
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