Figures released to Fianna Fail Spokesperson on Jobs Niall Collins TD have revealed a dangerously low level of staff at the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

“There has been a nearly 25% reduction in the overall number of staff, with a shocking 50% reduction in the number of members of An Garda Síochána at the body.

“The role of the ODCE is to improve the compliance environment for corporate activity in the Irish economy by encouraging adherence to the requirements of the Companies Acts. Going hand in hand with its oversight role, the ODCE is tasked with bringing to account those who disregard the law.

“White collar crime can have no place in the Irish economy. Without adequate staffing support, due to the retirement of existing staff and delays in filling vacant roles, the ODCE’s ability to stamp out white collar crime is being severely hampered.

“The ODCE requires both legal, law enforcement and accountancy expertise to fulfil its role.

“The trend since 2010 has been to see a reduction in staffing support. It’s disturbing, and it must end now.

“Minister Mitchell O’Connor must do two things. Recruit the civilian staff with experience in the legal and accountancy sectors, and recruit the Garda Commissioner, through the Minister for Justice, to second additional Garda members to allow the ODCE fulfil its law enforcement obligations.

“The ODCE must be fully resourced to enable it to carry out full investigations and ensure white collar crime does not go untouched,” concluded Collins.