§ Sir J. LONSDALE
asked the Chief Secretary if his attention has been called to the report of Mr. J. L. King, Local Government Board auditor, upon the accounts of the Dublin Corporation; is he aware that sums amounting to some thousands of pounds have been paid to the contractors of the Clontarf main drainage in respect of extra works, which the auditor states the contractors were bound to do for the amount of their tender; is he aware that surcharges have been made in respect of illegal payments for salaries and wages amounting to £204 3s. 1d.; if he will state what steps he proposes to take for the protection of the ratepayers of the city of Dublin; and whether there is any provision in the Government of Ireland Bill for dealing effectually with similar irregularities by public bodies in Ireland?
§ Mr. GULLAND
The facts generally are as stated in the question. With regard to the Clontarf main drainage contract, the auditor did not consider that it was a case for a formal surcharge owing to the complicated nature and ambiguous terms of the contract, and to the fact that some of the necessary plans were not supplied to the contractors until some time after the contract had been entered into. Surcharges to the amount stated have been made in connection with payments relating to salaries and wages. Appeals have been lodged against all these surcharges and are before the Local Government Board for decision. The matter does not appear to be one in which the Local Government Board have power to intervene further. The Irish Parliament will have full power to amend the law if they think fit.