In a written Dáil reply, the Jobs Minister Richard Bruton disclosed that legal firm Mazars has been paid €177,545 by his department for a report where the minister is unable to disclose its contents or what it is about.
However, Mr Bruton said that “this report is part of the evidence in a criminal prosecution by the DPP and will be detailed in court when the case is heard”.
The report is the most expensive commissioned by his department since the Government took power in 2011, and is part of a total spend of €2.1m on commissioning reports by the department.
The minister also confirmed that earlier this year the department paid Capita Business Services €9,809 to review what turned out to be unsubstantiated allegations against Enterprise Ireland.
The written Dáil reply to Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy said the report is “not for publication based on legal advice received”.
Asked to comment on the background to the report, spokespeople for the Jobs Department and Enterprise Ireland jointly said that after “certain unsubstantiated allegations were made by an individual concerning Enterprise Ireland” Capita was appointed by the Jobs Department to investigate.
“Their report concluded that there was no evidence to support the allegations and that no further investigation should be undertaken,” they said.
The detailed figures show that the University of Limerick was paid €96,670 for its report on zero hour contracts and their impact on employees.
That report was published last month.
The figures also show that Copenhagen Economics was paid €84,896 for carrying out a report on the impact of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP, this year.
The firm received €167,788 for similar work on the TTIP in 2014.
Separate figures provided by the Department of Finance show it paid Indecon €106,887 for a review on a report on marine taxation compiled this year.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has confirmed that since 2011, his department has spent €1.57m on various reports.
He also confirmed that the department paid €30,677 to the ESRI for a report on tax breaks and the residential property market published in October.