Written Answers. - Departmental Inquiries.

Proinsias De Rossa


61 Proinsias De Rossa asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the total costs incurred by the State, at the latest date for which figures are available, arising from the various inquiries instigated by or on behalf of her Department; whether the elements of these costs have been recovered from National Irish Bank in the case of that inquiry; if so, when; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7100/01]

The costs incurred since 1997 on company investigations initiated by or on behalf of my Department currently amount to about £4.7 million. This amount does not include the salary costs of Civil Service staff who are working on a number of these investigations. Similarly, the major proportion of the legal costs relating to the investigations are being borne by the Vote of the Chief State Solicitor.

Of this amount, the cost of the inquiries into National Irish Bank Limited and National Irish Bank Financial Services Limited, which are being undertaken by High Court inspectors under section 8 of the Companies Act, 1990, currently stands at about £2.88 million. None of this has yet been recovered from the two companies. As I have indicated previously, I intend to request the High Court to order the full recoupment from the companies concerned of these costs on completion of the inquiries.

Of the balance of £1.82 million, the principal areas of expenditure have been incurred on the investigations of Ansbacher (Cayman) Limited, £1.13 million; Bula Resources (Holdings) plc, £204,000; Faxhill Homes Limited, £185,000; IIB Bank Limited, £88,000; and various other section 19 investigations, £43,000. The sum also includes £170,000 in respect of the State's portion of the costs of liquidating the group of companies associated with the Clonmannon Retirement Village.