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FINANCES AND GOVERNANCE The Office of President was established by the Constitution. Further details of the role of the President, and the allowances which apply to the role, are set out in the Presidential Establishment Act 1938.

Voted Expenditure

The audited accounts show that expenditure has come in under budget (by approximately 10%) in each of the last seven years.

The budget for the Office of the President is set by the Houses of the Oireachtas. The budget is agreed on an annual basis under Vote 1, and is to be used “for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Secretary General to the President, for certain other expenses of the President’s Establishment and for certain grants.”

Staffing levels, and salaries of every member of the President’s staff, are set according to standard civil service pay scales and arrangements. During his Presidency, Michael D. Higgins has enhanced transparency by publishing details of expenditure by the Office of the President on the Áras an Uachtaráin website, www.president.ie

The Appropriation Account, independently audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) and published every year, provides details of the costs of running the President’s Office. This audit is published on the C&AG website and includes the amounts approved by the Houses of the Oireachtas to support the work of Áras an Uachtaráin.

In 2017, the direct costs of the Office of the Presidency were €3.6 million. Of this, €1.67 million (46%) covers staff costs (27 staff on payroll in Áras an Uachtaráin). Another €1.07 million (30%) was spent on the ‘Centenarian Bounty’, paid to Irish citizens at home and abroad who reach the age of 100 years.

The Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General performs its audit under the authority conferred by the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 and in accordance with applicable International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) and accounting rules and procedures laid down by the Minister for Finance.

The Internal Audit function for the President’s Establishment is provided by the Department of An Taoiseach. An audit committee provides oversight for expenditure and governance of Vote 1.

In € 1,000's 2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Salaries and allowances

1,622

1,626

1,644

1,664

1,677

1,666

Travel and subsistence

128

102

198

194

150

240

Training and Development ICT investment

154

136

135

122

302

391

Post and Communications

86

83

78

81

90

114

Office Machinery and supplies

121

94

147

150

293

210

Centenarian Bounty

954

1,065

1,073

1,087

1,096

1,071

Appropriations-in-aid

-104

-123

-94

-100

-84

-83

TOTAL

2,961

2,982

3,181

3,198

3,524

3,609

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THE PRESIDENCY IN REVIEW 2011 - 2018

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