Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
The main purpose of the Company Law Enforcement Act 2001 was to establish the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE). That Act was repealed and replaced by the Companies Act 2014, which came into operation on 1 June 2015.
In October 2017, the Government decided to establish the ODCE as an agency, rather than an Office of the Department, with a commission type structure. It also decided that the new agency should be better equipped to investigate increasingly complex breaches of company law.
Accordingly, on 4 December 2018, the Government gave effect to that Decision by approving, and publishing, the General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill. As well as establishing the ODCE as an agency, with a commission structure, the Scheme also introduces some new investigative tools, supervisory powers with respect to liquidators, and measures designed to enhance corporate transparency.
The General Scheme is currently subject to Pre-Legislative Scrutiny, which is being undertaken by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Subject to the duration and outcome of that Pre-Legislative Scrutiny, the General Scheme is scheduled for priority drafting, with a view to enactment by the end of this year.
The Company Law Enforcement Act 2001 also established the Company Law Review Group on a statutory basis. Those provisions are now contained in Part 15 of the Companies Act 2014 and there are no plans to amend them.