Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Ceisteanna (75, 77, 79)

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

75. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Finance if he or his officials have been monitoring the developments in New Zealand regarding the outgoing Governor of the Central Bank there. [24049/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

77. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the inquiry into the leak of the New Zealand Government budget recently. [24324/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

79. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the status of the appointment of the new Governor of the Central Bank; if he has been in contact with his counterpart in New Zealand; the timeline for the completion of the investigation there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25495/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 75, 77 and 79 together.

The New Zealand State Services Commissioner is carrying out an investigation into the unauthorised access of New Zealand Budget material and the events surrounding it. I am not going to be drawn into speculating on a matter on which the New Zealand State Services Commissioner is currently compiling a report.

The State Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes, has stated that his office will not be making any comment on the matter until his investigation is concluded and all of the facts have been ascertained. The investigation aims to conclude by 27 June.

Consequently, it would not be appropriate for me or the Government to comment on the matter, particularly given we are not in possession of the facts. The Government and others must await the facts to emerge.

Mr. Makhlouf has agreed to the ongoing review as the best approach to establishing the facts of the matter.

He is continuing to work as usual in his role as CEO of the New Zealand Treasury.

I would caution against making claims about an individual who is not in a position to defend themselves.

The Government recommended the appointment of Mr. Makhlouf as Central Bank Governor to the President following a comprehensive, open, and international process.

Mr. Makhlouf was the recommendation of the independent interview panel. The process included a public call for expressions of interest, a comprehensive search using an independent executive search firm, a rigorous shortlisting of applicants, psychometric testing of final interview candidates, and a final interview of five candidates.

The President signed the warrant appointing Mr. Makhlouf to the role of Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland on 14th May 2019.

Deputy Governor, Sharon Donnery, is acting Governor of the Central Bank from 1 June to 31 August.

My officials have been in contact with our Embassy in New Zealand to obtain updates on the matter.

However, given the definitive statement by the New Zealand State Services Commissioner that his office will not be making any comment on the matter until his investigation is concluded and all of the facts have been ascertained, it would not be appropriate to contact his office at this time.