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Background

The Government Finance Statistics Liaison Committee (GFSLC) provides a forum for cooperation between the agencies involved in the compilation of Government Finance Statistics (GFS).  This committee, which is chaired by the CSO, includes representatives from the Central Bank of Ireland and the Department of Finance, and was established with the primary purpose of ensuring that Irish GFS data compiled and disseminated by the three entities are accurate and comparable.

The Committee also meets to discuss ESA 2010 methodological and classification issues affecting Ireland’s GFS, including the twice yearly Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) returns. Terms of Reference for the GFSLC were agreed on March 19th 2013, and Bilateral Memoranda of Understanding can be viewed by clicking here.

 

The functions of the GFSLC include an oversight and quality assurance role in the reporting of debt and deficit figures. A number of satellite committees focussed on specific topics extend the reach of the GFSLC to other bodies including Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and National Development Finance Agency (NDFA).

Current Membership

Body

Name

Central Statistics Office

Ms

Jennifer

Banim (Chair)

Central Statistics Office

Ms

Gillian

Roche

Central Statistics Office

Ms

Norita

Murphy

Central Statistics Office

Ms

Mary

Brew

Central Statistics Office

Mr

Rod

O'Mahony

Central Statistics Office

Mr

Derek

Stynes

Central Statistics Office

Ms

Ciara

O'Shea

Central Statistics Office

Ms

Elaine

O’Sullivan

Central Statistics Office

Mr

Jason

Sibley

Central Statistics Office 

Ms

Michele

Butler

Central Statistics Office 

Mr

Tom

Fitzgerald

Central Bank of Ireland

Mr

Rory

McElligott

Central Bank of Ireland 

Mr

Ronan

Hickey

Central Bank of Ireland

Ms

Linda

Kane

Central Bank of Ireland

Mr

Cormac

O'Sullivan

Central Bank of Ireland Mr Faris  Bader

Central Bank of Ireland

Ms

Jenny

Osborne-Kinch

Central Bank of Ireland

Ms

Anne-Marie

 Kilkenny

Department of Finance

Ms

Scline

Scott

Department of Finance

Mr

Stephen

McDonagh

Department of Finance

Mr

Robert

McLoughlin

Department of Finance

Mr

Keith 

Hennessy

Department of Finance

Ms

Sarah

O'Neill

Terms of Reference

Function

The Government Finance Statistics Liaison Committee (GFSLC) provides a formal oversight mechanism in relation to Ireland’s Government Finance Statistics (GFS), and in particular for the bi-annual Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) returns.  Its primary purpose is to ensure that Ireland’s GFS data, compiled and disseminated by the three principal GFS data compilers – Central Statistics Office (CSO), the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) and the Department of Finance (D/Fin), are accurate and comparable.  

The Committee also provides a forum for cooperation and discussion of ESA 2010 methodological and classification issues among the three principal GFS data compilers.

Composition and Membership

The committee comprises representatives of the Central Statistics Office, the Central Bank of Ireland and the Department of Finance.  These three bodies are, jointly, the main compilers of Government Finance Statistics and share responsibility for reporting GFS for Ireland for past, present and forecast years both nationally and under the relevant EU regulations. 

Working arrangements

The GFSLC is chaired by the CSO and forms part of the Irish Statistical System.  As such its working procedures will be governed by the principles of the Statistics Act, 1993 and the European Statistics Code of Practice, in particular in relation to issues of confidentiality.

The Committee will meet not less than twice a year (generally to coincide with the bi-annual EDP transmissions).

The Committee may convene expert sub-groups to share information and expertise in relation to a specific theme and thus contribute to the on-going monitoring and improvement of accuracy, quality and timeliness of GFS reporting.  Membership of such groups will be open to all three GFS data compilers but may be extended to other agencies as deemed necessary to ensure quality of reporting on specific aspects of GFS (e.g. Public Private Partnerships, pensions, tax statistics, banking and finance).  Such additional membership will be by invitation of the Chair of the GFSLC in agreement with the members.

The CSO will convene, chair and provide secretariat for the GFSLC.  The role of chair and secretariat for expert sub-groups under the remit of the GFSLC may be undertaken by any of the principal GFSLC members (CSO, CBI, and D/Fin). The CSO will also facilitate, as far as resources permit, bilateral discussions on specific topics relevant to the work of the GFSLC Committee.

The GFSLC structures also provide scope for the operation of expert sub-groups to enable the sharing, on a confidential basis, of information on existing and planned events and structures which may impact on GFS in Ireland, as well as providing a forum for discussion of methodological issues. 

Currently four such groups are in operation:

PPPs and Capital Investment Expert Group

Function of Expert Group

To share information and expertise in relation to PPPs and Capital Infrastructure and thus contribute to the on-going monitoring and improvement of accuracy, quality and timeliness of Government Finance Statistics reporting, including that required under the Excessive Deficit Procedure, in relation to PPPs and Capital Infrastructure under the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA).  In particular:

  • To share information and expertise on data holdings, existing and developing regulations and legislation, existing and developing public and private sector projects in relation to PPPs and Capital Infrastructure.
  • To contribute to a shared understanding of ESA rules and requirements for GFS and to use this understanding to inform data collection and compilation activities in relation to PPPs and Capital Infrastructure.
  • To ensure that all current and planned transactions and structures related to PPPs and Capital Infrastructure are disclosed in a complete and timely manner to enable their statistical accounting to be treated correctly and adequately documented.

Current Membership

Ms Gillian Roche, CSO (Chair)

Ms Mary Brew, CSO

Mr Rod O'Mahony CSO

Ms Scline Scott, Department of Finance

Mr Stephen McDonagh, Department of Finance

Mr Robert McLoughlin, Department of Finance

Mr Gerard Cahillane, NDFA

Mr Paul O'Neill, NDFA

Ms Louise Mulcahy, NDFA

Mr Jerome Holland, NDFA

Mr Brendan Ellison, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Mr Graham Rigney, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Mr Paddy T Howard, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Mr Michael Kennedy, Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Mr Alan Smyth, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Ms Sharon Carroll, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

Ms Emma Leonard, Department of Education and Skills

General Government Debt Expert Group

Function

To share information and expertise in relation to General Government Debt and thus contribute to the on-going monitoring and improvement of accuracy, quality and timeliness of Government Finance Statistics reporting, including that required under the Excessive Deficit Procedure, in relation to General Government Debt under the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010).  In particular:

  • To share information and expertise on data holdings, existing and developing regulations and legislation, existing and developing public and private sector projects in relation to General Government Debt.
  • To contribute to a shared understanding of ESA rules and requirements for GFS and to use this understanding to inform data collection and compilation activities in relation to General Government Debt.
  • To ensure that all current and planned transactions and structures related to General Government Debt are disclosed in a complete and timely manner to enable their statistical accounting to be treated correctly and adequately documented.

Current Membership

Mr Stephen McDonagh, Department of Finance (Chair)

Ms Norita Murphy, CSO

Mr Derek Stynes, CSO

Ms Michele Butler, CSO

Ms Sarah O'Neill, Department of Finance

Mr Stephen Judge, NTMA

Mr Alan Mahon, NTMA

Ms Dearbháil Delaney, NTMA

Mr Brian Kelly, NTMA

Ms Aine Dennehy, NTMA

Mr Christopher Silvester, NTMA

Mr Cormac O'Sullivan, Central Bank of Ireland

Mr Faris Bader, Central Bank of Ireland

Taxes Expert Group

Function

To share information and expertise in relation to Taxes and thus contribute to the on-going monitoring and improvement of accuracy, quality and timeliness of Government Finance Statistics reporting, including that required under the Excessive Deficit Procedure under the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010).  In particular:

  • To share information and expertise and to contribute to a shared understanding of ESA rules and requirements for the classification of taxes collected by the Revenue Commissioners. 
  • To share information and expertise and to contribute to a shared understanding of ESA rules and requirements for the classification of other taxes collected by Departments, Offices and Agencies under their aegis.
  • To ensure the provision of suitable data series containing all relevant taxes on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, as available.

Current Membership

Ms Elaine O'Sullivan, CSO (Chair)

Mr Keith Walsh, Revenue Commissioners

Mr Keith Hennessy, Department of Finance

Mr Stephen McDonagh, Department of Finance

Mr Robert McLoughlin, Department of Finance

Public Sector Classifications Group

Function of Expert Group

To share information and expertise in relation to rules for institutional sector classification in National Accounts and thus contribute to the on-going monitoring and improvement of accuracy, quality and timeliness of Government Finance Statistics reporting, including that required under the Excessive Deficit Procedure under the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010).  In particular:

  • To share information and expertise and to contribute to a shared understanding of ESA rules and requirements for sectoral classifications, with a particular focus on the Government sector. 
  • To review the CSO register of public sector and government entities, to ensure that this register is accurate and up-to-date and that the entities on the register are correctly recorded on the CSO Business Register.
  • To ensure that current and planned transactions and plans for the establishment; abolition; change of function; structure; or funding mechanism of public sector bodies is disclosed in a complete and timely manner to enable their statistical accounting to be treated correctly and adequately documented.

Current Membership

Ms Gillian Roche, CSO (Chair)

Ms Norita Murphy, CSO

Ms Mary Brew, CSO

Mr Rod O'Mahony CSO

Mr Peter Culhane, CSO

Ms Scline Scott, Department of Finance

Mr Stephen McDonagh, Department of Finance

Mr Robert McLoughlin, Department of Finance

Mr Cormac O'Sullivan, Central Bank of Ireland

Mr John Kinnane, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform