Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (283, 284, 285)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

283. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will report on the extent, and estimated value, of property held in trust by the State further to Section 28 (2) of the State Property Act 1954, which provides that the State in the person of the Minister assumes responsibility for all personal property and land vested in or held in trust for a dissolved body corporate other than personal property or land held by such body in trust for another person immediately prior to its dissolution and that upon the dissolution of the body corporate, such property becomes State property; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9603/13]

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Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

284. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform at the time when function transferred in July 2011 to him under the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 2011 and S.I. No. 418/2011 Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011, the estimated extent and value of property held by the State under these provisions for upwards of twenty years; and, since the effect of Section 28 is that the Minister does not hold the assets of dissolved companies as beneficial owner, but holds them in trust, if the dissolved company is restored to the Register of Companies within twenty years of the date of its dissolution, and its property is automatically restored to it, the arrangements that apply if the title is not restored to the company / corporate body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9604/13]

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Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

285. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of occasions since June 1977 when the state, further to the State Property Act, Section 31 has waived the interest acquired under Section 28 of the Act; if he will publish a schedule of the beneficiaries of such waivers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9605/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

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.