Thursday 8 December 2016

Dept of Fin officials cannot give evidence at PAC about IBRC

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 11/06/2015 | 15:50

Sean Fleming
Sean Fleming

THE Department of Finance has been told it cannot give evidence before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today about IBRC transactions, including the sale of Siteserv.

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Finance officials had sought to appear in front of the committee to correct previous evidence given at a hearing last month.

But legal advice provided to the committee stated that such a hearing could not take place due to the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry.

It's understood Department Secretary General Derek Moran had intended to tell the committee that he and his officials "unreservedly apologise" for "inadvertently providing it with incorrect information".

But after two hours of deliberations with their legal advisors, PAC members agreed not to bring the officials because the Commission of Inquiry has now been established.

Finance officials who were waiting outside were told of the decision.

Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming said it was "appropriate" that such a decision was taken because "other events had taken over", referring to the IBRC inquiry.

But Labour Party TD Joe Costello said he was "very disappointed" by the decision

"It is very disappointing that we are not entitled to hear a correction of the record from the Secretary General," he said.

"The Minister for Finance had been able to come into the Dail and correct the record.The area of questioning was not related to financial transactions but to governance within the Department, how it lost minutes and miraculously found them again.

"I find it difficult to see how it infringes on the Commission of Investigation," he added.

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