Tuesday 24 April 2018

PAC to review MacSharry's call for scrutiny of KPMG's €123m fees for IBRC liquidation


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IBRC logo

Dearbhail McDonald and Gavin McLoughlin

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has been asked to inquire into the costs of the ongoing special liquidation of the IBRC.

The costs of the KPMG special liquidation team - led by joint special liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG - reached more than €123m net of rebates between February 2013, when the liquidation began, and the end December last. Now Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry has written to the PAC's chairman Sean Fleming asking the committee to examine the fees. Fleming said the letter will be reviewed by the committee this week as part of its normal review of correspondence.

"The kinds of money involved are just far too high not to have a level of scrutiny, albeit that things may well have been done perfectly correctly. But whether they are or they are not, we're entitled to know where the taxpayers' monies are going," MacSharry said.

The fees to be paid per person, per professional grade, were negotiated by Nama as part of a competitive tender process, according to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. But Donohoe said in reply to a parliamentary question from MacSharry that the special liquidators had told him they could not reveal details relating to the number of people - and their professional grades - working on the special liquidation "given the commercial sensitivities around this information".

In early 2016, Donohoe's predecessor Michael Noonan told the Dail that at that time around 100 full-time equivalent staff were working on the project. MacSharry said he was concerned that claims of commercial sensitivity could obscure legitimate scrutiny of the fees.

The Department of Finance said it engages regularly with the special liquidators on costs. "The special liquidators are obliged to ... act in a manner that ensures the assets of IBRC are managed in a way which maximises the overall return for all its creditors, including the State," it said. KPMG did not respond to a request for comment.

The liquidation has resulted in a bonanza for professional firms. In the first 47 months of the liquidation to the end of December 2016, more than €214.58m net of rebates was paid in professional and legal fees.

Sunday Indo Business

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