McGuinness: Noonan 'misleading' public over possible PAC Siteserv inquiry

The head of the Public Accounts Committee said Michael Noonan is "misleading" people by saying the PAC could investigate the sale of SiteServ.

McGuinness: Noonan 'misleading' public over possible PAC Siteserv inquiry

The head of the Public Accounts Committee said Michael Noonan is "misleading" people by saying the PAC could investigate the sale of SiteServ.

John McGuinness says the committee doesn't have the power to investigate any matters relating to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation or any of its dealings.

Minister Noonan said there was nothing stopping other committees investigating Siteserv.

Earlier Michael Noonan said the internal inquiry being run by IBRC's liquidators did not stop any other committees from running their own inquiries.

Deputy McGuinness, however, said nothing can be done by the PAC unless it is given extra powers to investigate the liquidators' report.

PAC chair John McGuinness claims the committee can't call witnesses on the issue.

"It's misleading of either the Taoiseach or the Minister to say that PAC will deal with this," he said.

"The remit of PAC will not allow it to go into IBRC, and will not allow it to call witnesses. If it's to be referred to us, it will have to be given to use with the appropriate powers to analyze it - and to call witnesses."

The inquiry into the sale of Siteserv, which resulted in a €100m debt write-off for the former Anglo Irish Bank, will examine every decision that resulted in the bank losing €10m or more. Siteserv was sold to another company controlled by businessman Denis O'Brien, despite larger offers being made.

Those close to the deal said that the O'Brien offer was the most straightforward and likely to proceed quickly, which affected the decision.

While Michael Noonan had ruled out widening the terms of the inquiry late last month, earlier today Minister Brendan Howlin suggested a commission of investigation could consider the issue.

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