Saturday 20 January 2018

Ex-gasman is not interested

The straight-talking former Bord Gais chief executive John Mullins assures the Punt that he won't be involved in any bids when the semi-state is part-privatised later this year.

It took no more than a simple phone call for Mullins to rule himself out of a bid and to point out that his new investment venture Augmentis is eyeing opportunities in renewables outside Ireland, not backing bids for parts of the employer he parted company with at the end of last year.

If only everyone was as forthcoming.

It took Bord Gais itself three goes to confirm that departing executives are restricted from bidding for company assets for a period after leaving the office.

That's hardly a model of transparency, but at least they managed to put together a sensible answer to the question in the end.

The same can't be said of Brendan Howlin's Department of Public Sector Reform.

According to a spokeswoman, the department overseeing the sell-off of state assets is "not at liberty" to discuss restrictions on who can and cannot get involved in buying those assets owned by the taxpayer.

Maybe we're over-sensitive but the Punt can't help thinking they'd tell the troika if they asked.

Irish Independent

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