The Dail's spending watchdog has been told by its legal advisor it cannot investigate claims contained in the Ansbacher dossier.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has been told this afternoon at a private meeting that allegations contained in the dossier about controversial offshore accounts held by politicians are beyond its remit.
The committee has also been given legal advice that it cannot call in the whistleblower before it to give testimony as the matters raised were not covered by a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG).
The committee was also told it cannot request a wider 700-page file which claims to substantiate the claims.
Sources have told Independent.ie that the matters under discussion are "extremely complex" and members were seeking to explore all possible avenues.
The committee would have to put a motion before the Dail to alter its remit to allow it to consider the matter.
Some committee members have expressed grave reservation about taking on the matter should the legal advice say it is beyond the scope of the PAC.
The meeting continues.