Friday 23 March 2018

TDs all ears for department's self-confessed 'mutterer'

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

THE head of the Department of Finance is a self- confessed "mutterer".

Kevin Cardiff jokingly admitted yesterday that it normally doesn't matter because people can lean over the table at meetings and pretend to listen to him.

But the members of the Dail's Public Accounts Committee wanted his microphone turned up because what he had to say about the banking crisis was highly significant.

That was no surprise, because Mr Cardiff was at the heart of the Department of Finance's response even before he was named as its secretary general in January this year.

He had previously been head of the banking section and was also involved in the setting up of NAMA.

So far, he has proven to be surprisingly frank about the banking crisis -- and it was he who chose the first documents to be publicly released about the events of September 28, 2008, when the state banking guarantee was agreed.

Mr Cardiff is on a salary of €255,304, although this represents a 20pc cut on what his predecessor got.

Mr Cardiff has been a civil servant since 1984 and joined the Department of Finance in 1987.

He worked on monetary and exchange rate policy in the 1990s and went on to work on pensions policy and issues such as Freedom of Information and Standards in Public Office.

Irish Independent

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