Saturday 25 November 2017

Government 'has nothing to hide' over sale of Siteserv

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
Lise Hand

By Lise Hand

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that the Government has nothing to hide in relation to the sale of Siteserv.

The Taoiseach said that the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) is “correct” in his confirmation this morning that his office does not have the power to investigate the sale of Siteserv, and that the government is “now looking at how can this be made to happen”.

Rowing back on his statement in the Dail yesterday when he said that the independent body would seek to examine the 2012 sale, Mr Kenny said this afternoon that “the C&AG is correct” and that the government “has nothing to hide here at all”.

“What we want is a facility that will allow for an independent analysis and examination of this matter” and that “a number of options” are being considered, including involving the office of the C&AG, he added.

The government has come under increasing pressure over the controversy surrounding the 2012 sale of Siteserv by IBRC for €45m while €105m was written off by the State.

The opposition has called for the independent body to be given increased powers to begin an investigation, after C&AG Seamus McCarthy told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) earlier today that under the current legislation he has no power to examine sale of Siteserv.

However, speaking this afternoon, the Taoiseach did not give a time-frame for a decision to be made on how the government would proceed. “Obviously we wouldn’t like this thing to drag on at all. We’ll do this as quickly as possible,” he said.

Mr Kenny also left the door open for any investigation to include other big transactions conducted by the IRBC bank which replaced the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank, and Irish Nationwide Building Society. “In terms of the wind-down of IBRC, obviously the number of transactions over a significant amount are easily determined.,” he said. “So government have absolutely nothing to hide here at all and we want to find a way where this can be independently examined”.

Online Editors

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