In December 2018 Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphries T.D. announced that the Cabinet had approved for publication the General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018 (the "Scheme").

The proposed new legislation is designed to strengthen Ireland's regulatory framework for the conduct of business and is a key action in the Government's package of measures to tackle white collar crime.

As the Scheme will have to progress through the usual legislative process, certain of the proposals set out therein may be amended and / or removed if / when the legislation is ultimately passed. Nonetheless, the Scheme contains some noteworthy proposals which we consider below.

Executive Summary

The purpose of the Scheme is to establish the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement ("ODCE") as an agency, rather than its current form of an office within the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. The new agency will take the form of a commission structure and will be named the Corporate Enforcement Authority (the "Authority").

In addition to establishing the Authority, the Scheme seeks to introduce a number of noteworthy amendments to the Companies Act 2014 (the "Act").

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.