Pending establishment of the Corporate Enforcement Agency 'welcome' - Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin TD and Chairperson of the Enterprise Trade and Employment Committee, Maurice Quinlivan, has welcomed confirmation by the government that it is due to proceed with the establishment of the Corporate Enforcement Agency (CEA) as a standalone agency.
The CEA will replace the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) which is currently part of the Department of Enterprise.
Speaking today, the Limerick City TD said:
“I am pleased to hear from the Government that it intends to press ahead with the establishment of the CEA as a stand-alone agency with increased powers. For too long, white collar crime has not been pursued as vigorously as it should be.
“The Enterprise, Trade and Employment Committee, of which I am the Chairperson, launched our report in April on the Pre-legislative Scrutiny of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018.
“Corruption and so-called ‘white-collar crime’ – and the perception that they are not adequately detected and punished – damage our economy and threaten our international reputation as a reliable place to do business in.
"They also breed cynicism in our society on the basis that certain crimes are regarded as being treated leniently.
“It is important that consumers, householders and businesses can all go about their business confident that white collar crime is treated with the seriousness that it deserves.
"Our approach to such crime must be evident in the structures that we put in place to deter it and in the resources that we apply to dealing firmly with such crime where it occurs.
“Crucially, Committee members stressed the need for appropriate legislative powers and funding to ensure that the agency delivers what it will be tasked to do.
"I hope the bill will address these concerns when it comes before the Dáil in September.
“The scheduled establishment of the CEA shows what can be achieved at Committee level. I thank all the Committee members for their attention to this matter and to the attendees who made insightful presentations.
“The ODCE is due to be reconstituted as the CEA in a commission structure, with a larger specialised staff and increased budget.
“I believe one of the key elements of this new structure will be the increased number of specialist Gardaí seconded to the CEA.
"The availability of their knowledge should ensure a more functional structure that can properly investigate suspected breaches of company law in a timelier manner than we have previously seen.
"Addressing economic and white collar crime is vital in demonstrating that no one, no matter their resources, are above the law in this state.”