A string of successive ministers in one of the most influential departments in government failed to adequately act on information concerning tax evasion by well-known public figures, according to potentially "explosive" claims made by a whistleblower.
The civil servant has told members of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that he compiled a 763-page dossier, described as the “huge effort report” which included eight volumes of supporting documentation.
It allegedly contains details about off-shore tax evasion by senior figures going back three decades, from high-profile politicians to a former, now deceased judge.
Details were first brought to the attention of a senior minister in 1998 and later to that minster’s successor in 2007, who brought it to the attention of the gardaí.
He claims it was raised again within the current administration. But through successive ministers, he was not allowed to complete his investigation and his findings were not acted upon to his satisfaction.
He also claims the dossier was brought to the attention of the Revenue Commissioners, the Office of Corporate Enforcement, the Moriarty Tribunal and the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.
The Garda Síochána said last night it received the allegations in 2007 which were fully investigated and a file was sent to the DPP.
The civil servant wrote to individual members of the PAC through registered post this week in what is believed to be the first use of protections granted under new whistle-blower legislation.
The committee is in “unchartered waters” with the information, according to one source. It has sought legal advice and will meet in private next Wednesday to decide whether it should examine the claims, or refer them to the authorities.
“If all of this is proven to be right it’s a pretty explosive document,” said one member of the committee, which remains cautious about how it treats the information, in the interest of protecting the whistleblower.
PAC member and Fianna Fáil TD, Sean Fleming, said: “There is an allegation that the investigations were blocked from being completed and people were stopped. We have to check if that is a civil or a criminal offence. If this official was doing his lawful duties and he was prevented from carrying out his duties, we have to take legal advice on that. ”
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