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Question

641. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice if she and bodies under her aegis have engaged private investigation companies or persons in the past three years to date; and if so, the cost, duration and purpose of these engagements of this type of contractor. [25829/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I wish to advise the Deputy that two agencies under the remit of my Department have engaged private investigation companies in the past three years to date. 
Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI)
The principal functions of the ISI include administering the estates of bankrupts. Bankruptcy is a process where the ownership of an insolvent person’s property transfers to the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy to be sold by them for the benefit of those to whom the individual owes money (creditors). In carrying out this role the Official Assignee has engaged private investigation companies or contractors in cases where bankruptcy estates are highly complex or where there has been material non-disclosure by individuals who have been adjudicated bankrupt.
The cost of engaging private investigators is set out by year in the table below:

Year 2018
2019
2020
Total
Cost 29,183 27,815 4,813 61,811


No costs have been incurred to date in 2021.
Private Security Authority
In 2019, the Private Security Authority engaged two private investigation companies for 50 hours each at a total cost of €4,674 (incl. VAT) to undertake online searches with a view to identifying the provision of unlicensed activities in the CCTV and intruder alarm sectors.