FAI did not keep proper accounts, according to Deloitte

Auditors Deloitte have said the FAI has contravened two sections of the Companies Act 2014.

It reported the football body on April 12 to the Companies Registration Office, the central repository of public statutory information on Irish companies and business names.

Deloitte said the FAI has not kept proper accounts.

Unlike many aspects of convoluted Irish statute books which require a legally-trained mind to interpret and unravel layers, Section 281 of the Companies Act is crystal clear.

"A company shall keep or cause to be kept adequate accounting records," Section 281 says.

The next section, 282, is far more in-depth but still relatively clear to a layperson in subsection 1.

"Adequate accounting records are those that are sufficient to -- (a) correctly record and explain the transactions of the company; (b) enable, at any time, the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the company to be determined with reasonable accuracy; (c) enable the directors to ensure that any financial statements of the company..comply with the requirements of this act...; (d) enable those financial statements of the company so prepared to be audited."

Subsection 2 is also simple to interpret -- "accounting records shall be kept on a continuous and consistent basis, which is to say, the entries in them shall be made in a timely manner and be consistent from one period to the next".

Subsection 3 lays out the requirements to keep clear records, including "entries from day to day of all sums of money received and expended by the company and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place", and "a record of the assets and liabilities of the company".

What adds a layer of complexity to the issue is that Deloitte has filed a rarely-used form, the H4, described by the CRO as a "notification of notice that proper books of accounts are not kept".

This form is explained in Section 392 of the Companies Act 2014 - a complex section with technical requirements.

What is significant is that if the H4 is sent to the CRO, a notice is given to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).

The ODCE is tasked with enforcing company law and investigation of suspected offences under the Companies Act.

It can also prosecute detected breaches as well as refer cases to the DPP for prosecution.

For one of Ireland's most renowned corporate governance experts, Professor Niamh Brennan, the H4 filing is hugely significant.

"In terms of the seriousness as far as a director is concerned, it does not get more serious than that in my opinion," she told RTÉ.

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