Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Question 397: To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will publish the report carried out by senior officials in his Department with officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with advice from NewERA on the proposed sale of a minority stake in the Electricity Supply Board; and his rationale for standing by the sale if it is the considered opinion of his own senior civil servants that such a sale would not be financially beneficial to the taxpayer. [7890/12]
Two Inter-Departmental groups were established in 2011, one to consider the best approach in achieving a part-sale of ESB, including energy policy, regulatory, legal, financial and economic considerations, and a second group to examine other possible disposal candidates in order to inform any further decisions that the Government may wish to make. Both of these groups reported in December, 2011. While these reports have been considered and discussed by relevant Ministers and by the Economic Management Council, they have not yet been considered by the Government as a whole.
I expect that the issue of disposal of state assets will be considered shortly by the Government and full account of the above mentioned reports will be taken in the deliberations of Government. It is not intended to publish either of the reports as they both contain highly sensitive commercial information in relation to the assets in question.