Sinn Féin TD and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Brian Stanley has called on the board of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) to explain the unusual circumstances behind the loss of €389,000 due to ineffective risk management and controls.
The incident behind the substantial financial loss was revealed in the HRI’s 2019 Financial Statement which was presented to the PAC this afternoon.
The PAC has now written to HRI seeking a detailed explanation behind the incident.
Speaking today, the Laois/Offaly TD said: “Horse Racing Ireland is a body which received €67.2 million from taxpayers in 2019.
“Since 2001, it has received almost €1 billion from the State. In return for such investment we expect a very high level of risk management and control.
“Upon reviewing the HRI’s Financial Statement for 2019, the Public Accounts Committee has taken the decision to write to the board of HRI and request an explanation behind the loss of €389,000 which occurred in one incident.
“It is explained in the financial statement and in the Comptroller and Auditor Generals notes that a disclosure has been made by HRI that an incident occurred where a financial loss was suffered in relation to cash in transit services whereby the service company went into liquidation whilst holding cash relating to HRI.
“The situation and the explanation leaves the Committee with a lot of unanswered questions and some reservations regarding the HRI’s level of internal controls.
“It is welcome, however, that subsequent to this incident a review was carried out on the effectiveness of internal controls in March 2020.
“Despite this review, however, considering the substantial amount of public money that is injected into HRI each year, it is imperative that the Public Accounts Committee hears directly from HRI regarding this incident and that all safeguards are now put in place to minimise risk.
“Following our correspondence with the HRI, the PAC may wish to invite the body to attend the committee.”