I propose to take Questions Nos. 283 to 285, inclusive, together.
By virtue of section 28 of the State Property Act 1954 all real and personal property held by a company at the time of its dissolution (with the exception of property held in trust by a company for another person) is vested in the State upon the dissolution of a company subject to any incumbrances or charges affecting the property immediately before the dissolution.
Because the only persons with a complete view of the assets held by a company at the time of its dissolution are the directors and officers of the company, the Minister only becomes aware that assets have vested in the State upon notification by an interested party.
Section 31 of the Act confers on the Minister power to waive the interest that has vested in the State. Separately under the provisions of the Companies Acts, once a company is restored to the Register of Companies, it becomes entitled to its property as if it had never lost it. The total value of the personal property held by the Minister arising from the proceeds of bank accounts of dissolved companies, as represented by the balance in the State Property Miscellaneous Deposits Account, is of the order of €2.5m. No overall valuation exercise has been carried out on real estate that has vested in the Minister.
Records are not kept in a format that would facilitate the compilation of the statistics sought by the Deputy (for example, covering the period 1977-2013). In such circumstances, compilation would give rise to a gravely disproportionate expenditure of public service staff time. If the Deputy is interested in a particular case, however, I will endeavour to arrange for relevant details to be provided to her.