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Consultancy firm paid €212,873 for report on oil and gas fiscal system

Gordon Deegan - Irish Examiner

The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources paid €212,873 to consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie to examine the "fitness for purpose" of Ireland’s oil and gas fiscal system.

The spend works out at more than €2,100 per page for the 100-page report delivered at the end of May.

The report was published on June 18 last and former minister for communications, energy and natural resources Pat Rabbitte told Deputy Michael Colreavy in a written Dáil question that in the report by Wood Mackenzie, the consultants “provided their analysis in what I would consider to be a comprehensive, detailed and accessible manner”.

In a parliamentary question answered prior to last Friday’s reshuffle, he said: “I have no doubt that this report will serve as a key reference point in terms of the factual detail it contains, the broad range of issues it discusses and the clear analysis informing its recommendations for Ireland’s oil and gas fiscal regime.

He added: “The total cost of the advice, inclusive of expenses and VAT, was €212,873. The former minister said that the report came from his desire to seek independent expert advice on the ‘fitness-for-purpose’ of Ireland’s fiscal terms, such advice to focus on what level of fiscal gain is achievable for the State and its citizens and, equally importantly, on the mechanisms best suited to produce such a gain.”

Separately, Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin confirmed that the pay to Davy Corporate Finance that advised on the sale earlier this year of the National Lottery has climbed to €1.13m. The €1.13m represents just part of €6.6m the department has spent on third party fees between June and the end of May this year.

Separate figures show the Department of Finance spent €2m on consultants over the past year with the largest amount to legal firm Arthur Cox at €1.384m with Deloitte & Touche in receipt of €132,991 for “legal and consultancy”.

Posted Date: 
14 July 2014