As the Deputy will be aware, NewERA was established in 2011 as a unit within the National Treasury Management Agency (“NTMA”), initially on a non-statutory basis. As a shareholder advisory unit, NewERA advised Ministers from a shareholder perspective on 5 commercial state bodies (“CSBs”) - ESB, Bord Gáis Éireann (now Ervia), EirGrid, Bord na Móna and Coillte.
The NTMA (Amendment) Act 2014 subsequently established the NTMA’s NewERA functions on a statutory basis, to:
- provide financial and commercial advisory services:
- to relevant Ministers on the exercise of their ownership functions in certain designated CSBs (then ESB, Ervia, EirGrid, Bord na Móna, Coillte, Irish Water and their subsidiaries);
- where requested by Ministers, with respect to other State bodies or assets;
- where requested by Ministers, in relation to the acquisition or disposal of State bodies or assets or the winding up or restructuring of State bodies; and
- in consultation with relevant Ministers, develop investment proposals in certain designated sectors (then energy, water, telecommunications and forestry).
Since then, NewERA’s role has expanded as it has been requested to provide advice to Ministers or Government Departments on additional CSBs, including: An Post, CIÉ group, daa, Shannon Group, Irish Aviation Authority, Dublin Port, Port of Cork, Shannon Foynes Port, VHI, and RTÉ.
Discussions are ongoing between my officials and the NTMA on how best to advance the commitment in the programme for Government regarding the role of NewERA. I hope to bring a proposal to Government once these discussions have concluded.