Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Public Accounts Committee

2013 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 7 - Office of the Minister for Finance
Chapter 1 - Exchequer Financial Outturn for 2013
Chapter 2 - Government Debt and Finance Accounts 2013

10:00 am

Photo of John DeasyJohn Deasy (Waterford, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

Does Mr. Moran know what? I am talking about the process. We have a problem. Compare this with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, which is a law enforcement commission, has an enforcement division and prosecutes civil cases before courts. It is unclear what happens in Ireland where there is an allegation or report, but the SEC acts on media reports. If it reads something about the industry in The Wall Street Journal, it acts on it. The Director of Corporate Enforcement's response in a news article was that his office "did not receive any requests from any other regulatory authority asking us to commence an investigation" into Siteserv share trading. This begs the question of what the office needs. Is it a papal bull from the Vatican? I do not know what initiates an investigation. If the Department of Finance has no interest, we have a serious problem.

The problem with the Stock Exchange is that it is owned by stockbroking firms. Someone might ask whether it is in the public's interest for them to have responsibility and remit for initiating an investigation. Is this a fair analysis or point to make? It is unbelievable that, if something like this is reported in the press, the Department of Finance does not have an opinion or will not ask even basic questions of the bodies and agencies that have a remit for alleged insider trading. Is this not even remotely reasonable?