A contingent liability arises in any situation where past or current actions or events create a risk of a call on Exchequer funds in the future.
My Department was established in June 2011 and since then there has been limited instances giving rise to contingent liabilities. In this regard the Deputy might note that liabilities will arise as a result of the legal challenge to the outcome of the Children Referendum. In this case the petitioner was awarded one third of her legal costs by the High Court in November 2013 but the actual amount and the timing of the payment remains to be determined. My Department currently awaits hearing from the Chief State Solicitors Office on the matter. In the meantime, resources continue to be made available within the Vote of my Department to meet any settlement costs due.
My Department does not carry out any actuarial or specific risk analysis in order to identify the potential for future contingent liabilities. The risk of such occurrences is normally considered on an annual basis in the context of the budget and estimates cycles and taking account of any legal advice or specific knowledge of situations occurring that might give rise to a contingent liability.