ODCE's Enforcement Unit is responsible for receiving and responding to allegations of company law breaches. Such allegations and reports are mandatory from some professionals but can also be made by any member of the public.

In responding to these reports, the Office has regard to a set of Enforcement Principles in determining the appropriate response. These are:

• the scale and gravity of the issues involved;
• the wider potential impact of the apparent misconduct;
• the potential for further misbehaviour by the relevant individual/entity;
• the wherewithal of the complainant, where there is one, to resolve the underlying matter(s) without recourse to the Office;
• the probability of achieving a positive outcome; and
• public interest considerations.

The Office has a range of potential responses, ranging from administrative rectification through civil litigation and ultimately criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution is undertaken in the District Court by ODCE staff, and more serious cases are referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for potential prosecution on indictment.

If a person has concerns about a case of suspected misconduct under the Companies Acts, they should forward it to us in writing, indicating precisely the nature of the concern. To assist in evaluating issues brought to attention a Complaint Form has been devised which indicates the type of information which is required. 

The Unit defines possible remedial options, takes appropriate steps to conclude or advance the complaint and records progress. It may need to seek continuing assistance from correspondents in certain cases. In the light of evaluation of the information and corroborating material, the Unit will determine what action, if any, is appropriate and what would be the most suitable means of legal redress or sanction.

While it is open to submit an anonymous complaint, we do not recommend it, as it almost invariably hinders us when pursuing the matter. As a result, the ODCE reserves the right not to consider such a complaint.

The Team consists of a mix of administrative, legal, accounting and Garda staff.

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