Presidential Review published for the first time since the Presidency was established in 1938
Date: Thu 13th Dec, 2018 | 14:18
Áras An Uachtaráin has today published ‘The Presidency in Review, 2011-2018’ providing a comprehensive overview of the work and expenditure of the Office of the President of Ireland over the last seven years.
This is the first time such a review has been published since the Irish Presidency was established in 1938 and follows a commitment to greater transparency made by President Higgins.
In line with that commitment, the Presidential Review provides detailed information on the 1938 Allowance, an annual allowance established by the Presidential Establishment Act 1938 to support the President in the independent performance of his or her duties.
Áras an Uachtaráin confirmed that a €238,443 underspend from the 1938 Allowance will be returned to the Exchequer by the end of the year. This is a cumulative underspend from the 2011-2018 period of the Presidency.
The review shows that Voted Expenditure for the Office of the President has been under budget for each of the seven years of President Higgins’ first term.
As part of the President’s commitment to greater financial transparency, Áras an Uachtaráin confirmed that the process of establishing an independent committee to provide oversight of the 1938 Allowance is well advanced. The oversight committee will be in place from early next year and will meet regularly.
Áras an Uachtaráin also confirmed that the Presidential Review will be published each year during President Higgins’ second term.
The Presidency In Review 2011-2018
The Review, available on www.president.ie, presents the background to the President’s various roles and activities and provides details on financial control and governance arrangements.
The Finance and Governance review falls under three headings:
- Voted Expenditure: The main source of funding for the work of the Office of the President is the budget approved annually by the Houses of the Oireachtas. All of the expenditure under this heading is audited and reported upon by the Comptroller and Auditor General on an annual basis.
- Allied Services expenditure: This covers expenditure incurred by other Government Departments and Offices in support of the President and his activities. This spend is also approved annually by the Houses of the Oireachtas under the budgets of the relevant Government Departments and Offices. This expenditure is audited and reported upon by the Comptroller and Auditor General on an annual basis.
- 1938 Allowance: Established under the Presidential Establishment Act 1938, this allowance has supported Presidents in the independent performance of their duties and is used to meet costs not provided for in the voted expenditure. The current level of the Allowance was set in 1998, and it has been used since then to facilitate the opening up of Áras an Uachtaráin to increasing numbers of visitors from all parts of Ireland and from abroad. During the first term of his Presidency, President Higgins welcomed approximately 140,000 people to Áras an Uachtaráin.
The Presidential Review is available in both English and Irish at https://issuu.com/arasanuachtarain/docs/the_presidency_in_review?e=0 and
https://issuu.com/arasanuachtarain/docs/the_presidency_in_review_-_ga?e=0 , as well as via https://president.ie/en/media-library/publications and https://president.ie/ga/ilmheain-agus-oraidi/foilseachain