10 times more social welfare inspectors than investigators of white collar crime – Quinlivan
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan today criticised the government’s soft touch approach to white collar criminals, as it was revealed that the agency charged with investigating white collar crime has currently only 32 FTE staff, with one position at the agency vacant for over 14 months.
Speaking today, Deputy Quinlivan said;
“The ongoing tracker mortgage scandal highlights the continued total disregard for corporate law in Ireland. This criminal behaviour is completely unsurprising as the investigation and prosecution of white collar crime in this country is, in my opinion, a joke.
“Banks and bankers have not learned from their mistakes of a decade ago, and Fine Gael is repeating the mistakes of Fianna Fáil by allowing those who sit in boardrooms to do what they like, and abide by their own laws.
“The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement is the agency charged with investigating and prosecuting breaches of corporate crime. To think there are just 32 people working in this agency is beyond belief.
“One position in the agency has been vacant for over 14 months and, in addition, 5 more positions are currently empty.
“The Taoiseach’s Strategic Communications Unit is funded to the tune of €5 million while the ODCE spent just €3 million in 2017. There are 10 times more social welfare inspectors than people investigating white collar crime. This just highlights Fine Gael’s focus.
“The ODCE employs just 1 digital forensic specialist, 1 legal advisor and 1 solicitor. Breaches of corporate law are often complex and require detailed and thorough examination, and require teams of experts, not a few of people.
“The ODCE hasn’t been in front of the Oireachtas Business Committee in eight years and the report compiled into the botched investigation into the botched Sean Fitzpatrick investigation is secret and cannot be published.
“Therefore, we literally have no idea what is going on behind the closed doors of the ODCE, but looking in from the outside, it would not bode well.”