Simon Harris Backs Proposal to Bring RTÉ Under Control of C&AG


Simon Harris, the Fine Gael minister for higher education, has expressed support for bringing RTÉ under the control of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), calling it a “sensible thing to do.”

He emphasized the need for RTÉ to move away from revelations and towards adopting government recommendations, particularly in regard to achieving a sustainable funding model for public service media.

RTÉ is currently awaiting the publication of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) final report into its financial and governance crisis. The report, set to be released on Tuesday morning, is expected to contain 20 recommendations to reform RTÉ.

Simon Harris (Credits: The Irish Sun)

Among the anticipated recommendations is the suggestion that RTÉ be brought under the remit of the C&AG, which would involve annual inspection and audit of its accounts. Other reforms, such as changes to the reporting of salaries and exit packages for staff, are also expected.

Harris stressed the importance of how both RTÉ and the government respond to the PAC’s recommendations in determining the broadcaster’s future.

He called for action to move from revelations to recommendations, highlighting the need for RTÉ to respond positively to the recommendations to ensure its future sustainability.

Regarding the recent resignation of Siún Ní Raghallaigh from the RTÉ board, Harris emphasized the urgency of appointing a new chair.

He expressed support for Catherine Martin, the media minister, who has faced criticism for her handling of the RTÉ controversy and hoped to see a new chair elected soon.

Harris also reiterated the government’s commitment to solving the issue of funding for RTÉ, stating that a decision on future funding should be made by summer. He emphasized the importance of working together to address the challenges facing RTÉ and to ensure its long-term sustainability.

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