An email or two from the Fás file

A month or so ago we’d a story in the Sunday Times about Fás. It involved a Mr Terry Oliver, whose company, OSK, had been found to be “consistently successful” in winning Fás contracts. The headline read ‘Fás in new cronyism row over lease’…

FAS, the state training agency, is renting a warehouse from the former tax partner of a consultancy firm which has been “consistently successful” in tendering for work from the agency.

Unit 9 at Tolka Valley business park in Finglas, north Dublin, has been rented since 2000 from Terry Oliver, formerly of OSK, an accounting and business consultancy. Internal audits have concluded that Greg Craig, the former head of corporate affairs at Fas, had a conflict of interest in awarding contracts to OSK because of his close personal relationship with Oliver.

[…] According to documentation obtained under the Freedom of Information act, the Finglas warehouse was to be used to train apprentice plumbers and electricians. It appears no-one has ever been trained there and instead it has been used for storage or left empty due to concerns about it meeting planning standards. The rent is more than €40,000 per annum.

You can read the story as it ran in print here.

During that investigation we obtained about 600 printed pages of emails containing correspondence between individuals we believed to be of interest. I mean neither to imply nor state that anyone did anything wrong, I just think some them are worth a read.

Here’s one snippet from May 2009; Greg Craig emails Terry Oliver with a copy of this press release

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ms. Mary Coughlan, T.D., has today (Thursday 14 May 2009) confirmed that the 3,067 construction trades apprentices currently standing redundant will be able to progress their training towards qualification through a number of special measures this year, providing a capacity for in excess of 3,600 redundant apprentices…

And adds…

Terry,
See below that should sort out Mr REDACTED. I am making a call also.

Greg.

And another one from August of the same year; Greg emails Oliver with an email attached from a Mr Oliver Egan, a Fás employee.

The correspondence – with the subject line; ‘Finglas’ – from Mr Egan reads;

Greg,

Apprentice will be given repeat & the services of an instructor — Bernard Bird -— to assist him. The other instructor will be found more suitable duties.

Regards

Oliver

Mr Craig forwards this email to Terry Oliver saying, simply…

Terry,

Sorted.

Greg

Might post a few more if I get time to re-read them over the next week.

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