Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has said it is essential that the Commission of Investigation into IBRC completes its report in line with the deadline it has been set of December 31st this year.
The Commission of Investigation established in June is examining up to 40 IBRC transactions that resulted in a loss of €10m or more to taxpayers. It is due to report by December 31st. The original KPMG report on IBRC was due to be received by August 31st. Now media leaks indicate that it is highly unlikely that it will be concluded by next April, which is the latest date that the government can hold the general election.
Deputy McGrath commented: “The government have completely botched the process of investigating legitimate concerns regarding the loss incurred by the State on the Siteserv sale and other transactions at IBRC that resulted in large losses for taxpayers. It initially set up a flawed investigation process using KPMG, despite that firm having acted as advisers on the Siteserv deal. Having appointed a High Court judge in a supervisory role to attempt to deal with the obvious conflict of interest, it was forced into another u-turn establishing a full Commission of Investigation.
“Legal issues are cited as a standard reason for delays in investigations of this nature. In my view, this cannot be used as an excuse for not producing a timely report. It is important to remember that there are very serious financial and political issues at stake here, not least of which are the loss of over €100m incurred by IBRC on the sale of Siteserv and allegations that have been made of favourable interest rates on loans to certain borrowers. If the Commission needs additional resources to complete its work on time, these should be provided.
“It is a matter of serious concern that the Department of Finance was forced to admit it has discovered files with minutes of IBRC board meetings – including the one at which the sale of Siteserv had been discussed having previously denied it had these in its possession. It is essential that these issues are fully resolved prior to a general election. The only way for this to be done is for the Commission to stick to the timeline it was given,” concluded Deputy McGrath.