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Minister Coughlan appoints New Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Department of Agriculture and Food

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., has appointed Mr. Michael Downes as Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Department of Agriculture and Food.

Mr. Downes who is Group Internal Auditor of Coras Iompair Eireann, succeeds Mr. John Donnelly who had served seven years as Chairman of the Audit Committee. Paying tribute to Mr. Donnelly, Minister Coughlan spoke of his contribution in ensuring that the Department was provided with sound advice that has enabled it to lead the way in the application of best practice in financial management in the civil service.

The Minister acknowledged the key role the Audit Committee plays in providing her with advice on the operation of the internal audit function within the Department and also in reviewing and monitoring the operation of the Department's Risk Management programme. The Minister stated that a high level of assurance can be taken from the fact that the work of the Department is assessed by an Audit Committee consisting of seven highly qualified and skilled members, all but one of whom are external to the Department itself.

9 November, 2006

Date Released: 09 November 2006