As the Tánaiste knows, over the past number of days the sale of Siteserv by IBRC to Millington, an Isle of Man company owned by Denis O'Brien, has been the subject of much controversy. At the time of the sale, it was in debt of up to €150 million. It installed Sky boxes, fixed traffic lights and had contracts with the ESB and Bord Gáis Energy. After the sale, it went on to win a large contract to install water meters. We know from documents revealed to Deputy Catherine Murphy and The Sunday Times that the civil servants in the Department of Finance had very serious concerns about the sale and transaction. They were concerned that the decision to allow the sale process to be run by Siteserv's advisers was an issue for them. They were concerned about the decision to exclude trade buyers from the process, the limit of the exclusivity period when there were other bids outstanding and the payment of €5 million to the shareholders of a company that was essentially bust.
We know that Anchorage, a multimillion euro company, submitted a higher bid of €52 million which for some reason was not accepted. Another large company, Altrad, publicly complained at the time that it had been shut out of the bidding process and felt the company was worth about €60 million. The civil servants went on to say that they were extremely concerned about the number of large transactions that had been poorly executed by the bank and its management. The civil servants said this was damaging the credibility of the State and the bank and asked the Minister if he would conduct an independent review or ask the chairman of the board to do so. For some reason the Minister did not pursue that recommendation. He met the chairman of the board and the chief executive officer in July and they gave assurances that everything was okay and it was the best deal possible. That is a trend.
In previous publications everybody is assuring everybody that everything is fine, but we do not know on what basis the Minister, Deputy Noonan, accepted the assurances of Mr. Dukes. We do not know on what basis the board continued saying it was the best deal. I ask the Tánaiste to show us how it was the best deal. Yesterday, the Taoiseach said during Leaders' Questions that the Comptroller and Auditor General would look at this from the perspective of value for money. We heard today that Mr. Dukes disputes the Minister's statement to the House to the effect that Mr. John Moran, the former Secretary General of the Department of Finance, asked Mr. Aynsley about establishing an inquiry. He said he was never asked and it was never discussed at the August 2012 meeting. I would like those issues to be clarified.
Is the Tánaiste comfortable with what has been revealed about this deal? Would she accept that the public should know more about it and we should have far more transparency? In the words of the Taoiseach, Paddy likes to know.