Evidence of the Civil Servants
The Moriarty Tribunal began its private inquiries into the awarding of the second mobile phone licence in 2001. It began hearing evidence in public in early December 2002. Since then, the Tribunal has heard evidence from 75 witnesses stretching over 175 actual sitting days.
During this period, the Tribunal has heard evidence from 19 civil servants who were involved, from one extent to another, in the process leading to the awarding of the second mobile phone licence. Every single one of those witnesses gave sworn evidence supporting the integrity of that process and the merits of Esat Digifone’s victory.
The Moriarty Tribunal did not produced a single witness from the civil service who has given direct evidence of any interference in the licence process on the part of the then Minister, Michael Lowry. Indeed, no witness from the civil service gave any evidence of their work having been interfered with or overborne in any way by Michael Lowry. There was no smoking gun. There was no whistleblower- not even after 9 years and tens of millions of Euro having been spent by the Moriarty Tribunal pursuing countless allegations against the second mobile phone licence process and against those involved in that process.
The process leading to the awarding of the second mobile phone licence was conducted by a team of civil servants drawn primarily from the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications. A smaller number of civil servants were drawn from the Department of Finance. A dedicated Project Team of civil servants (known as the PT GSM) from both Departments was established to conduct the competition process leading to the awarding of the second mobile phone licence. This Project Team drew very heavily on the expert consultancy services provided by Michael Andersen and his team of telecoms experts from Andersen Management International (“AMI”). AMI, an internationally renowned Danish consultancy practice, were retained by the Irish Government to provide expert consultancy services in respect of the second mobile phone process. (see relevant section of the site re Michael Andersen / AMI).
Throughout the course of the Moriarty Tribunal’s inquiries into the second mobile phone licence process, some very serious allegations of impropriety and wrongdoing were levelled against many of the civil servants involved. These allegations have primarily come from two sources; (1) from some members of one of the losing consortia that bid for the licence and which is presently suing the State in a damages action (Persona) and (2) from the Moriarty Tribunal itself. The relationship between the Moriarty Tribunal and Persona is explored in-depth in the relevant section of this site. No other parties made any allegations of wrongdoing or impropriety against the civil servants involved in the second mobile phone licence process.
These allegations against the integrity of the Irish civil service took many forms; from general broad allegations having being made during the course of Opening Statements delivered by the Tribunal to aggressive pointed allegations being put to civil servants witnesses while they were giving evidence before the Tribunal. An example of the latter involved John Coughlan SC for the Tribunal accusing Fintan Towey (An Assistant Principal from the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications) of “cooking the books” in respect of the scoring of the applications received as part of the second mobile phone licence process.
This section of the site seeks to explore the role played by the civil servants in the second mobile phone process and the sworn actual evidence given to the Moriarty Tribunal by the individual civil servants involved in that process. It also seeks to establish where these serious allegations against the Irish civil service actually came from and highlights the lack of real substantive evidence presented by the Moriarty Tribunal in support of these extremely serious allegations.