IDA Ireland missed Justice Department deadline to comply with US law

IDA Ireland missed a US Department of Justice (DOJ) deadline to comply with US legislation – having previously breached the law for almost a decade.

The state agency on Tuesday confirmed to The Ditch that it met with DOJ officials in 2018 regarding its Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) returns, which had not been submitted since 2010.

The Justice Department ordered IDA Ireland to submit forms accounting for its finances and activities, as required by US law, by October 2018. Documents seen by The Ditch show that IDA Ireland missed this deadline.

Wilfully violating FARA carries a penalty of $10,000 or up to five years’ imprisonment.  

Breaking the law

IDA Ireland failed to declare its finances and activities to the US government for seven years, violating FARA between 2011 and 2017.  

The Department of Justice ordered IDA Ireland to comply with the act by 1 October, 2018 but the organisation failed to do so.    

In a statement released to The Ditch earlier this week, an IDA Ireland spokesperson claimed the agency had complied with the DOJ’s request to file all its relevant FARA returns by October 2018.

The IDA missed this deadline.

It failed to account for its finances and activities from 2011, 2012, 2013 and the first half of 2014 until December 2018 – long after the deadline set by the DOJ. It also didn’t file the relevant forms for 2015-2017 till mid-October 2018. 

It is unclear if IDA incurred any financial penalties for missing this deadline. 

On Wednesday The Ditch reported that IDA Ireland had additionally failed to register 15 high-ranking employees, some of whom had been working for the organisation for over a decade, as foreign agents with the US government. 

The Department of Enterprise did not answer when asked by The Ditch if it would be engaging with IDA Ireland in future to ensure it complies with US law.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors