Thursday 12 December 2019

Reform needed of insolvency services

John Downing

John Downing

GOVERNMENT problems over criticisms of the new insolvency services have been compounded by reports of internal briefing documents which admit the laws need reform.

The documents suggested that a short draft bill to correct flaws in the legislation had been on the cabinet agenda since last April but no action was yet taken. The changes are needed to avoid potential court challenges to the 2012 Personal Insolvency Act.

The briefing documents were reportedly prepared for Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald as she moved to her new post in May. They appeared in error on the department’s website last Thursday with parts of the text blacked out.

The material was yesterday removed from the website. It reportedly included the name of an asylum-seeker taking a legal challenge against the state system of direct provision. Revealing an asylum-seeker’s name is illegal under the Refugee Act.

The document apparently stated that two new arrangements for insolvency under the complex schemes unveiled last year could be open to challenge. The problem centres on the potential to claim that banks were being given new powers of veto in the process.

Irish Independent

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