Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (226)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

226. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance if he has made inquiries regarding the existence of other recorded phone calls in existence in the other State owned, or proportionately owned State banks, around the time of the guarantee; and if he has sought such information. [31771/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy will be aware banks are required to record phone calls for a variety of reasons. I have not sought access to these recordings as under statute the Garda Síochána are the body responsible for criminal investigations in the State. I understand that the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation have requested access to various documents/materials in the banks, including audio recordings, and that the banks have fully complied with these investigations to date. It would be completely inappropriate for the Department of Finance to act outside of its legal powers and interfere with any investigation that could compromise potential future criminal or civil investigations by the bodies responsible under statute. Any phone calls that are relevant around this period may feature as part of the forthcoming banking inquiry for which the legislation is currently before the House. Under the proposed legislation responsibility is assigned exclusively to the Houses of the Oireachtas to determine the requirement for a formal inquiry, the terms of reference of that inquiry and the procedural and organisational aspects of the inquiry. I expect that the Houses will move quickly to initiate such an inquiry once the legislation is on the statute books.

Question No. 227 answered with Question No. 122.