ENDA KENNY HAS revealed that there is no exhaustive record of who attended the Department of the Taoiseach in the period leading up to and on the night of the bank guarantee.
Answering parliamentary questions last week, the Taoiseach said that his department does not keep a record of attendance for general service staff in the Department of the Taoiseach.
A visitors book is maintained at the welcoming pavilion of the department on Merrion Street but he said: “This is not an exhaustive record of all visitors who attended at the Department during that period.”
Kenny explained that visitors who sign the book are mainly those who are attending press events or meetings while visitors attending the Department by prior appointment may contact an office in advance and arrange parking.
Normally, these visitors are met at reception and are not usually asked to sign the visitors book. He also pointed out that his department can be accessed via Leinster House.
The questions were put to him by the Labour TD Kevin Humphreys who asked for a copy of the attendance record book for his department for all of September and specifically the 29 and 30 September.
The government issued the state guarantee of all deposits and liabilities of the banks on 30 September 2008 following a late night Cabinet meeting. The Taoiseach has repeatedly asserted that there is a paucity of documents in his Department related to that period.
However, Fianna Fáil, the party in government at the time, has pointed to a document outlining over a hundred records from that period which it says contradicts Kenny’s claims.
In another answer to a parliamentary question, the Taoiseach revealed how his Department handles documents in light of his statements about the lack of records related to the guarantee.
Kenny told independent TD Stephen Donnelly that his Departmnet complies with the Data Protection, Freedom of Information and National Archives legislation.
“The Department operates a central registry record-keeping system comprising a Registry File Tracking System and a central repository for the storage of all Departmental records,” he explained.
“Files created in the Department are recorded centrally and their location is known, to the time when they are transferred to the National Archives for permanent preservation.”
In answers to all of these PQs related to the bank guarantee, the Taoiseach added: “My Department will co-operate fully with any inquiry established into these matters”.
In another parliamentary question, Kenny revealed the positions of the seven staff still working at his Department who were there when during the bank guarantee.