Ervia has launched an investigation into allegations of financial misappropriation, made by a former employee. The allegation concerns a senior figure in the state gas company.

The former employee, who now lives abroad, wrote to Ervia chairwoman Rose Hynes, providing details including correspondence about the alleged impropriety.

“Some time ago, while in the employment of Bord Gais, I became aware of a serious financial impropriety by a senior member of BGE staff,” the former employee wrote, naming the staff member in question.

“Due to the prevailing culture in place in the transmission department [of the state company], I did not feel secure or comfortable highlighting the issue at the time. It is only now, several years after leaving Bord Gáis, that I am willing to make the information I have to hand available.”

The Irish Examiner understands the Commission for Energy Regulation has also been informed of the allegation. The investigation, which was launched last month is being undertaken by an executive from consultancy firm KPMG.

The allegation concerns the alleged misappropriation of around €500,000 from local authorities in the Republic and the North to shore up a shortfall on a major contract in the Munster region.

The allegation is that the senior staff member undertook the fraudulent activity because to admit the shortfall from the major contract would have resulted in “reputational and career- limiting embarrassment”.

Correspondence attached to the letter points to the projects from which the monies were misappropriated. A spokesman for Ervia confirmed an investigation is taking place. In response to a number of questions about the investigation, the company issued a one-line reply: “We have retained KPMG to investigate an allegation made to us about a potential issue that may have arisen approximately 10 years ago within Bord Gáis Éireann.”

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