Anglo’s dealings with Department of Finance seem curiouser and curiouser
Draft letter fully answered queries while final letter did not
However, it seems the draft letter responding fully to Lenihan’s query was given to Nolan on the previous day and she was asked to comment on the draft, following which it was changed substantially in a way that avoided part of Lenihan’s query.
I put a series of questions to the Department of Finance about this on Monday and received a reply yesterday.
The reply contained the following: “Prior to the date of the meeting or of the letters the Department was aware of this type of lending [in relation to CFDs] and the issue was referred to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement for investigation, the request was now being made so the Department and the Minister were in receipt of the full facts on the matter. No difficulty would have arisen from the perspective of the Department had that line remained in the final form of the letter. As the substance of the difference in the two letters was the issue referred to the Director of Corporate Enforcement by the Minister, conducting a separate inquiry into the change in the letter by the Department would not have been appropriate [this was in response to a query from me on whether the Department then had instituted an inquiry into how and why the letter had been changed].”
The response went on to deny that the Department of Finance rewrote the response to its own query or indeed suggested the removal of a reference to lending for CFDs.
It stated: “There are many potential reasons why the alteration between the draft and the final letter might have been made, presumably the change was made on foot of an internal review by Anglo Irish Bank. The essence of the difference between a draft and a final letter is that a draft remains unfinished and is subject to changes, corrections or additions. I would further add that it is perfectly normal for the bank to discuss a draft response to a formal request for information from the Minister for Finance with officials of the Department, the consultation is to ensure that the response prepared by the bank fully meets the requirements of the Minister prior to finalisation. There is nothing to suggest that the discussion referred to in the minutes of the meeting disclosed in Court last week that suggests that this consultation was any different.”
But the draft fully answered the minister’s queries, whereas the final letter didn’t. Curiouser and curiouser.