We will ask that question.
Next is No. 861 from Mr. John Hogan, Secretary General of the Department of Finance, dated 21 October, providing information requested by the committee regarding the special liquidation of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, IBRC. Following consideration of previous correspondence on this matter from the Department, namely, No. 718, the committee requested details of the checks and balances in place within the Department over value for money auditing of each line of expenditure in respect of liquidation fees, including a breakdown of fees and clarification as to whether fees would continue to increase the longer the process went on. The Secretary General states that there has been a high level of oversight by the Department since the process commenced in 2013, including procedures to monitor and oversee the costs and fees incurred in the liquidation, regular formal meetings between senior officials from the shareholding and financial advisory division and the special liquidators, and frequent communication between the shareholding and financial advisory division and special liquidators across a range of issues as they arise.
The Department also sets out the reports that the special liquidators routinely supply and states that in 2019 the Department commissioned an independent review of similar liquidations globally, which provided it with an independent analysis of other liquidations of a similar scale, allowing comparisons and benchmarking with the IBRC special liquidation, particularly in regard to costs. The findings of that report are set out in the correspondence.
The Secretary General goes on to note that as stated in the latest progress report the timeframe for the final wind-up of IBRC has been extended to 2024. This is attributed to the impact of the pandemic and delays in court proceedings. The impact of the pandemic on asset values and the need to ensure the optimal timing for asset sales are also noted. In regard to costs, over the remaining timeline of the liquidation, the special liquidators have forecasted total further fees of between €26 million and €33 million. This will bring the total fees incurred over the duration of the liquidation from 2013 to 2024 from €320 million to €327 million. This includes costs should the process not conclude until 2024.
The Secretary General states that the priority outcome from the liquidation is to maximise the return to the State and that any decisions regarding the timeline will be subject to that objective.
Deputies Carthy and Catherine Murphy flagged this matter. I call Deputy Carthy.