A letter sent from former IBRC chairman Alan Dukes to Finance Minister Michael Noonan on February 14, 2013
You may recall how Mr Justice Brian Cregan was appointed to carry out a Commission of Investigation into IBRC on June 16, 2015.
One of the terms of reference is “whether the Minister for Finance or his Department was kept informed where appropriate in respect of the transactions concerned, and whether he, or officials on his behalf, took appropriate steps in respect of the information provided to them.”
The commission’s establishment followed Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy asking Finance Minister Michael Noonan questions about the sale of Siteserv to a company owned by Denis O’Brien.
Further to this.
The former chairman of IBRC Alan Dukes sent a letter to Finance Minister Michael Noonan on February 14, 2013 – a week after IBRC went into liquidation.
This letter was obtained from the Department of Finance by Ms Murphy, following a Freedom of Information request.
Readers will note there were three sentences redacted in the letter of February 14, 2013.
Following an appeal to the Information Commissioner, the commissioner annulled the decision of the department to redact these sentences.
It found the manner in which the Department had processed the request “most unsatisfactory” and not in keeping with the statutory provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
Further to this, Justine McCarthy, in yesterday’s Sunday Times, reported:
The Sunday Times has established that the three missing sentences from Dukes’s letter are:
“1. The Department of Finance has at all times been provided with all papers presented to the board;
2. The Department of Finance has been entitled to have an observer at every meeting of the board;
3. The minutes of all committee meetings were systematically provided to the Department of Finance.”
…The ruling by Stephen Rafferty, an investigator in the information commissioner’s office, was made on February 8 but only made public last Thursday. The department has until March 1 to lodge an appeal to the High Court.
…When told what the redacted portion of Dukes’s letter says, Murphy replied: “It’s strange the department would have redacted that. It obviously gives a clue about something. There seems to be a surprisingly small amount of information [available] about the relationship between the department and the bank, given how bad we know that relationship was.
“The information commissioner was quite scathing about the department and the fact they are taking their time about whether they’ll release it or lodge an appeal indicates there is not a culture of openness there.”