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Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Public Sector Pensions Data (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I take it that the Deputy’s reference to pension ‘top ups’ relates to situations where extraordinary additions over and above the normal public service pension terms might have been conceded. I have not approved any such pension top ups for individual public servants. For the Deputy’s information, I would point out that there are a limited number of...

Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Departmental Staff Data (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table. Department / Body Percentage of employees with a disability under the definition in the Disability Act 2005 Department of Public Expenditure and Reform 4.9% Office of Government Procurement 5.1% Office of the Ombudsman 3.17% Institute of Public Administration 0% State Laboratory 5.43% (2016)...

Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Departmental Communications (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: My Department has in place an industry leading email security appliance which filters emails based on industry standard security terminology which includes Profanities.  All incoming emails are automatically scanned by the email security appliance for terminology, including profanities, and if positive the email is quarantined and the recipient is notified that their email has been...

Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Departmental Strategies (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following table. Initiative Purpose of the Initiative Method of Promotion Expenditure in 2017 Open Data Initiative Public Consultation (on draft Open Data Strategy 2017-2022) which aims to increase availability of public data and promote its usage Online via D/PER website and the national Open Data portal and via twitter...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: My apologies for that. I will make sure that, in all my other appearances before the committee in the coming year, the members will get my statement when they need it and when I have seen it, as has been the case in the past. I thank the committee for the opportunity to be here to deal with both the tracker mortgage issue and the Our Public Service 2020 initiative. I acknowledge the work...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: In answering the Deputy's question, I will reiterate a point I made when I debated this matter with him and the rest of the committee towards the end of last year, namely, that there are two issues that I find unacceptable about the way this matter has been handled to date. The first is the root cause of this, that is, the behaviour that led to people being treated wrongly and unfairly at...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: On the deadline I have set in regard to conclusion of the matter overall, I have referred to March in the different statements I have made on the matter but I stress that my strong view is that everybody should be given both redress and an initial offer of compensation as soon as possible. From the information I have received from a number of the banks, they are meeting the deadlines set...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I am speaking as a Minister who has a particular responsibility for the agency that is carrying out the investigation into this matter, namely, the Central Bank, which is independent of me. What I cannot do at this stage is prejudge the ruling or findings it may make but I will make two points. On foot of all I have seen on this matter in recent months, as well as my engagement with the...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The two remaining State-appointed directors on the Bank of Ireland and AIB have recently retired. I have not had engagement with those directors on this issue. On this issue I engage directly with the chairs and chief executives of the banks, because I believe this is an issue of such importance that I will communicate directly with the chairperson of the board and the chief executive of...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: We do not have directors on the boards of AIB or Bank of Ireland.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: My recollection is that this has been the case since the end of last year. However, I will come back to the Chairman if I am wrong in that recollection.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: We do not have a director there. This was a decision that was made by my predecessor. We did not replace the previous public interest director on the board of PTSB. I cannot give the committee the date on which that post became been vacant.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The primary interests of individuals on the boards of these banks is to meet their obligations to that bank as directors. I will be defining the terms of reference of those director roles myself, because I have a strong view on the kind of individuals required and the needs we must meet on the board. We will then advertise for these roles, as I have said. I also plan to make use of other...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Yes, I will do so.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: That is the case. When I responded to Deputy McGrath, I used the word "directors". The public interest directors were tied into emergency legislation, as the Deputy correctly noted. What I am looking to do is appoint directors who are nominated by the Government to the boards of these banks.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: There was an inherent tension between these roles that was exposed or, I should say, tested on a number of occasions in that as the country moved out of a very acute crisis, there was a tension between the duties of a director to the company upon whose board they served and the wider expectations the Oireachtas, the Government and indeed the public had of anybody serving on these boards to...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Last January, I did not have the privilege of being in this role but if I looked at January a year ago when Deputy Noonan was Minister, I know that at that point, the briefings he would have received from the Central Bank were that the investigation was ongoing and that it was dealing with the matter with the banks. In my view, it was only towards the latter part of last year, and Deputy...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Before I respond, allow me to offer some context. I do not approach this issue on the basis of political allegiance and nor do I believe that either Deputy Pearse Doherty or any of his colleagues does so. What happened to these victims was wrong. It was unacceptable. As I have said previously, as disturbing as the development of this issue a number of years ago is the more recent...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The legislation on that matter is handled by the Minister for Justice and Equality, not me. I cannot give the Deputy an answer to that question now because up to this point it has not been an area of policy responsibility for me. My current view is that the legal framework is in place to deal with this matter. The test of that will be the work done by the Central Bank. I have indicated...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Tracker Mortgages: Discussion (16 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I have not yet had the opportunity to consider that legislation because it is being handled by the Minister, Deputy Flanagan. It is not legislation that is specific to financial services or banking. It is to do with all of our country and economy and, as such, the policy recommendation on the Bill must come from the Minister, Deputy Flanagan. As such, the policy recommendation on it needs...

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