The head of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Robert Watt, has become embroiled in a further row with an Oireachtas Committee regarding answering questions about financial oversight on big capital projects.

The chair of the Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Committee, Colm Brophy, has written to Mr Watt asking that he re-consider his decision to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.

Mr Brophy said it would be "more appropriate" for him to speak to the Budgetary Oversight Committee given Mr Watt had said in the past that it was "the line committee of report for him."

Yesterday, the chair of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, John McGuinness, accused Mr Watt of giving "two fingers" to his Committee members by refusing to attend their hearings.

Mr McGuinness claimed that Mr Watt was "playing politics" with the Oireachtas, by agreeing to go before the Public Accounts Committee and then "dictating" both the date and agenda.

The Chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Dr Michael Harty, also said Mr Watt "should attend our Committee. I can see no reason why he wouldn't."

The Health Committee has sent three invitations since last December to speak about the cost overrun at the National Children's Hospital, but Mr Watt had declined to attend on each occasion.

Dr Harty told RTÉ News: "We are very anxious that he would attend. It is a vital health issue which transcends his position in the Department of Public Expenditure."

It emerged over the weekend that Mr Watt had agreed to go before the PAC on Thursday the 7 March to be questioned about financial oversight of the State's capital expenditure plans.

In his letter to the PAC, Mr Watt expressed a willingness to answer any questions which may be put to him.

He stated: "I wish to be helpful in terms of setting out to the Committee of Public Accounts the role of my Department in relation to general capital expenditure."

However, he also noted that three other Committees wish to speak about the same matters.

In an apparent move to strike a compromise, he said: "I would be grateful if you could confirm with the Chairs of the aforementioned Committees that the Committee of Public Accounts is the Committee that I should attend to the issues raised."

On Saturday, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Sean Fleming, said he was going to liaise with other Committee chairs and assess if some of their representatives could attend the PAC on 7 March.

While Deputy McGuinness said he believed such an expanded meeting would "go against standing orders", Deputy Harty said he would attend even if "it's not ideal."