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Pearse Doherty suspended from Dáil for asking if new Department of Finance appointment would be scrutinised

8 March, 2012 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Fein finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, was suspended from the Dáil after he raised the matter of the new Secretary-General's appointment in the Department of Finance. Doherty said the position was the highest in the department, that there were concerns about the new appointee's background and asked whether the Dáil would be able to scrutinise the appointment.

Speaking after his suspension, Deputy Doherty said:
"Under the Order of Business, I raised the question of whether the new Fitness and Probity tests, introduced under the Central Bank legislation, to deal with bank appointments would allow for scrutiny of civil service appointments of those involved in finance-related departments as well.
“I raised the example of the new Secretary-General to the Department of Finance, who has replaced Kevin Cardiff. This is the highest position in the Department and I believe the Dáil should have full scrutiny of the position.

"I did not make any allegations against Mr John Moran.
“The fact is John Moran was a founding employee and later CEO of Zurich Capital Markets (ZCM).
“ZCM was found to have aided and abetted four hedge funds that were carrying out schemes to defraud mutual funds that prohibited market timing during the period 1999-2003. ZCM later received censure from the Securities and Exchanges Commission in the US and was ordered to pay $16.8 million in penalty, disgorgement and interest. This is all information in the public domain.

"I believe it is right and proper that all senior public appointments of this nature are scrutinised. There is absolutely no reason why they shouldn't be.

"The fact that I have been suspended means I cannot introduce legislation which I had planned to this morning. This would bring NAMA under the remit of the Freedom of Information Act and remove application fees for FoI requests.
“It is ironic that in attempting to shine a light on a matter in the Finance Department, I have been suspended and now cannot move a bill which I believe would shine a light on the goings-on in NAMA. I will be now seeking leave to move this bill next week."

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