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We must find missing bank letters – Howlin

BRENDAN Howlin has heaped pressure on Department of Finance (DoF) officials to locate missing documents relating to the banking crisis.

The Public Expenditure Minister said that the Government was anxious that "every shred" of documentation should be made available.

Mr Howlin was responding to confirmation from the DoF that two letters the late Brian Lenihan had been copied in on were missing. They were between the then governor of Bank of Ireland Richard Burrows and Noel Corcoran, an adviser to the Jupiter Group, interested in buying the bank.

SEARCH

The Department confirmed its officials could not locate the documents despite a search. But Minister Howlin insisted that they be found.

"Everything that's there should be available and I hope will be made available," he said.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is now facing calls to make a statement to the Dail in relation to the missing documents.

The head of the Public Accounts Committee, Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness, has expressed fears that further documents may be missing.

But in a statement last night, the Department insisted it was not aware of further problems.

"The Department has commenced a project to document all records in our possession", a spokesman added.

PROJECT

"(The project will also) cross-reference these documents to each other and to other material from the period

"We are not aware of any other documents in the period relating to the bank guarantee that cannot be found."

The Department also said it had procedures relating to record management which were "regularly reviewed".

"However, we rely on the users complying with the controls embedded in the system," the spokesman added.

"Separately, the Department is considering the feasibility of improving records management by implementing a document management system."

noconnor@herald.ie


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