Tuesday 20 March 2018

Government gives go-ahead for Commission of Investigation into certain IBRC transactions

Review to consider 'transactions, activities and management decisions' which resulted in capital loss to IBRC or that may be of public concern

Finance Minister Michael Noonan,TD arriving at Government Buildings yesterday. Pic Tom Burke
Finance Minister Michael Noonan,TD arriving at Government Buildings yesterday. Pic Tom Burke
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

The Government has given the go-ahead for a Commission of Investigation to review corporate governance and transactions at IBRC.

The draft terms of reference include direction for the 'scope' of the investigation, noting the review 'shall consider all transactions, activities and management decisions... which either resulted in a capital loss to IBRC of at least €10,000,000 during the 'Relevant Period', whether by consequence of a single transaction or a series of transactions relating to the same borrower or entities controlled by the same borrower...'.

The Commission are also to consider transactions which '[give] rise or likely to give rise to potential public concern, in respect of the ultimate returns to the taxpayer'.

A report will be produced which will 'set out the scope and findings of the review in fulfilment of the purposes; and is to respect obligations of confidentiality and to respect commercial sensitivity where those are not incompatible with the public interest'. 

The move comes as the Department of Finance has discovered a tranche of board meeting minutes from the Irish Bank Resolution Company (IBRC) which Finance Minister Michael Noonan previously said he had not received.

The minutes include the IBRC board meeting where the sale of Siteserv to a company owned by businessman Denis O’Brien was discussed.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan

However, the details of the sale, including the payment of €5m to Siteserv shareholders, was not outlined in the documents.

A Department of Finance source said the files, which are described as ‘board packs’ were “incorrectly filed” in the Department and only recently discovered.

Read more: Government plans formal investigation into IBRC transactions

Minister Noonan last month said he did not receive the IBRC board meeting minutes relating to the Siteserv sale.

“I have been informed that my officials were not made aware of the details of the transaction during their monthly meetings with IBRC management in advance of the decision of the Board to approve the sale,” Mr Noonan said during a Dáil debate.

He is now expected to correct the Dáil record, while Department of Finance secretary general Derek Moran will go before the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee to correct statements he made during a hearing.

A Department of Finance source said the documents do not change the fact that the Minister was not made aware of the details of the Siteserv deal or any other significant transactions at IBRC.

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