The Department of the Environment is seeking an independent planning expert to examine its internal review of alleged planning irregularities published last June.
The review of complaints about planning in seven local authority areas found “deficiencies” but no evidence of corruption or abuse of public office by officials.
The internal review was criticised as a “whitewash” by Opposition parties who claimed it was an attempt to cover up bad planning decisions.
The expert is to be appointed in September and must report by the end of the year. They will be tasked with reviewing the recommendations and findings of the report and may also make additional recommendations.
The local authorities at the centre of the inquiry included Donegal county council.
The review found no evidence of criminality or corruption but found poor administration and weaknesses in the implementation of planning law.