Michael Andersen / Andersen Management International
On 14 April 2010, Professor Michael Andersen (former principal of Andersen Management International) confirmed his willingness to attend to give evidence to the Moriarty Tribunal. He also provided a signed witness statement setting out his evidence before the Tribunal. Some 6 months later (and just before Professor Andersen was due to begin giving his evidence in Dublin) the Moriarty Tribunal circulated a significantly redacted / edited version of Professor Andersen’s statement for use at the public sittings. The Moriarty Tribunal was trying desperately to conceal large tracts of Professor Andersen’s intended evidence. Once again, the Moriarty Tribunal was engaged in concealment.
Full copies of both the original statement as signed by Professor Andersen and the version unilaterally redacted by the Moriarty Tribunal can be accessed via the links on this page.
This sinister interference with Professor Andersen’s statement and the familiar attempt to censor and conceal what Professor Andersen wishes to say in his evidence about the Moriarty Tribunal’s inquiries into the second mobile phone licence process is very obvious when one considers the contents of the paragraphs as redacted by the Moriarty Tribunal. It is all about chronic bias on the part of the Moriarty Tribunal and its slavish devotion to the Persona agenda.
“Danish telecoms expert tells of “anti Esat” agenda” – Irish Times, 6 November 2010
RTE Radio One- News at One, 5 November 2010 “Key consultant giving evidence to Moriarty Tribunal”
“Tribunal legal team given cloak of protection” – Irish Examiner, 4 November 2010
“Danish expert casts doubt over expensive inquiry” – Irish Times, 3 November 2010
“Chairman refuses to allow questions on bias allegations” – Irish Times, 3 November 2010
“Phone consultant defends outcome of licence contest” – Irish Times, 3 November 2010
“€100m later, we maybe left with nothing but a tainted Tribunal” – Sunday Tribune, 31 October 2010
RTE Radio 1 – News at One, 29 October 2010
“Allegation of flawed “working hypothesis” is potential death blow for inquiry” – Irish Times, 29 October 2010
“Telecoms expert claims findings at phone licence tribunal biased” - Irish Times, 29 October 2010
The competition process leading to the awarding of the second mobile phone licence to Esat Digifone Limited was carried out by a dedicated team of civil servants drawn from the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications and the Department of Finance. This specially constituted team of civil servants (known as the “Project Team” or the “PT GSM”) drew very heavily on the specialist consultancy services provided by Mr. Michael Andersen and his colleagues from Andersen Management International (“AMI”).
AMI, an internationally recognised consultancy practice based in Copenhagen, Denmark, were specifically engaged by the Irish Government to provide the necessary expert consultancy services relating to the second mobile phone licence process. AMI were acknowledged specialists in the field of telecommunications having been involved in over 120 such licence processes in almost 50 jurisdictions worldwide prior to their engagement by the Irish Government.
As the consultants to the Project Team, AMI designed and implemented an evaluation process which enabled the Irish Government to select the best candidate from the six applicants for the second mobile phone licence. In short, AMI ran the licence competition which effectively determined which applicant should be awarded the right to exclusively negotiate with the Irish Government for the second mobile phone licence.
The Irish Government’s satisfaction with the work carried out by Michael Andersen and his AMI team was clearly evident from the evidence given before the Moriarty Tribunal by all of the civil servants involved in the process. This satisfaction was also reflected in the level of work awarded to AMI by the Irish Government after their involvement in the second mobile phone process. For instance, AMI were retained by the Irish Government to handle the competition leading to the award of the third mobile phone licence. AMI were also retained to provide specialist consultancy services in relation to Fixed Wireless Public Mobile Access (FWPMA) as well as other miscellaneous telecommunications regulatory issues. Almost all of this work was awarded some considerable time after Michael Lowry ceased to a Government Minister. Indeed, AMI’s expertise and the work carried out by them on behalf of the Irish Government was fully vindicated by the Irish Supreme Court in the case of Orange Communications Ltd v The Director of Telecommunications Regulation and Meteor Mobile Communications Limited  4 IR 159. In that case, at pages 190-191, the Chief Justice Ronan Keane stated:
“I have already emphasised the importance in a case such as this of the High Court recognising that the Oireachtas has entrusted the impugned decision to a body with a particular level of expertise and specialised knowledge for which the least is the capacity which the court has not to draw on such specialised knowledge, as the Director did in this case, by retaining the services of AMI. I have no doubt that wholly insufficient weight was given to that aspect of the case, both in the judgement under appeal and the submissions addressed to this court on behalf of Orange.”
When the Moriarty Tribunal began its private inquires into the second mobile phone licence in 2001, Michael Andersen voluntarily made himself available to the Tribunal to assist in their inquiries and indicated that he would be prepared to come to Dublin to give evidence if required. Indeed, he travelled to Dublin and attended a number of private meetings with the Tribunal. In addition to meeting with the Tribuna, he prepared a number of detailed reports for the Tribunal which specifically dealt with the second mobile phone licence process.
The attendances of those private meetings with the Tribunal and the contents of the reports prepared by him clearly indicate that Mr Andersen / AMI believed that Esat Digifone Limited was the best applicant and fully deserved to win the second mobile phone licence competition process. Indeed, AMI specifically noted that the bid submitted by the Esat Digifone was one of the best they had ever seen in their widespread experience of managing mobile phone competitions worldwide. At page 37 of the “Memorandum on AMI’s experience as the lead consultant in the GSM 2 tender in Ireland, 1995,” Mr Andersen stated:
“The quality and consistency of Esat Digifone’s application with regard to the extent and content of the information provided is among the absolute best that AMI have seen during the many evaluations that AMI at that time and since then has participated in.”
AMI went on to state on the same page:
“It is also the opinion of AMI that Esat Digifone – objectively and after taking into consideration the issues of criticism mentioned below – handed in the best application as against the other applicants according to the evaluation criteria and their descending order of priority. In AMI’s opinion the evaluation result nominating Esat Digifone as the winner thus was and is the right result”.
On 26 March 2003 (and despite the considerable assistance being provided to the Tribunal by Michael Andersen) the Tribunal wrote to Mr. Michael Andersen’s Irish Solicitors and stated that they had received an “expert report” which suggested that his work in relation to the second mobile phone licence contained “serious fundamental flaws”. It transpired, although only some years later, that the expert report being referred to was a report prepared by Dr. Peter Bacon, the economist, which was finalised in conjunction with the Tribunal’s legal team (see relevant section of this site for further detail). Dr. Peter Bacon had no experience in conducting mobile phone licence competitions. Years later, the Tribunal would confirm that Dr. Bacon was not in fact “an expert” after all.
Subsequent to receiving this aggressive letter from the Moriarty Tribunal, Mr Andersen decided that he was not prepared to come to Ireland to give evidence before the Tribunal unless he was furnished with an indemnity in respect of any proceedings issued against him arising from his management of the second mobile phone licence competition. Although the Irish Government suggested to the Tribunal that a method of resolving the failure of Mr. Andersen to give evidence to the Tribunal was to seek his evidence before the Danish Courts, the Tribunal declined to do so.
This section will outline the central role played by Mr Andersen and his AMI team in the second mobile phone process; the evidence given by other witnesses during the Tribunal’s public hearings in relation to AMI; the statements made by Mr Andersen to the Tribunal during its private investigative stage that the Esat Digifone application was, in his view, the best application in the second mobile phone licence process and in any other competition that he had participated in and the steps taken by the Tribunal to secure the evidence of Mr Andersen / AMI.