Past governments cannot have their reputations affected, so nothing that could damage their reputations may be investigated. That is official.
Juno McEnroe of the Examiner has the scoop:
The implication from that last line is plain and simple: past governments cannot have their reputations affected, so nothing that could damage their reputations may be investigated. So says this Government.Legislation being drawn up will make it unlikely any banking probe will be able to scrutinise actions of former ministers or taoisigh, such as Brian Cowen, and their handling of the banking crisis and guarantee.
TDs and senators with the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC) were given the special confidential briefing of the planned legislation, seen by the Irish Examiner, a week ago.
“We were told that no findings of facts could be made against previous office holders and only could be made relating to future legislation. There’s a lot of confusion over this as it would essentially mean any banking inquiry is a sham,” said one Government TD.
The briefing was given by officials with Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin’s department, overseeing the drafting of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2012. The laws will set out how the Oireachtas can conduct future parliamentary inquiries and will pave the way for the long-awaited parliamentary inquiry into the banking crisis.
Documents handed to members with an overview of the inquiries state: “The Dáil has an implicit constitutional power to conduct inquiries in order to hold the Government responsible, even if this affects the reputations of individual [but that] does not extend to investigating the activities of past governments.”
Beat that Kafka.