Dáil Éireann provides money for the services of government departments and offices, both capital and non-capital, by approving estimates for those services in the course of each year and giving statutory effect to the estimates in an annual Appropriation Act. Expenditure is provided for under ‘Votes’, with one or more votes covering the functions of each department or office. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for two Votes – Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs and Trade) and Vote 27 (International Cooperation). Estimates of expenditure for the Department’s two Votes can be found on the website of the Department of Public Expenditure Reform.
The Department’s budget is allocated to a series of programmes, which correspond to our five high level goals. These goals are laid out in the Department’s Statement of Strategy 2017 – 2020 and within each programme, funding is allocated for a combination of programme costs, administrative costs and a small budget for capital projects.
Our accounts are audited and reported on by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C & AG) whose office provides independent assurance that public money is properly managed, spent to good effect and is contributing to improvements in public administration. Appropriation Accounts for both Votes, where we account for expenditure in the previous year, are also located on the C&AG’s website. In addition, the Secretary General of the Department generally appears every year before the Public Accounts Committee, the public spending watchdog.
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