The County Antrim director agreed to the disqualification

The Department of Economics (Department) has assumed responsibility for disqualification from a director of a company engaged in IT consulting.

Attempt to disqualify

for acting as a director of ERP Project Governance Limited (“the Company”), Belfast, Co. A five-year commitment was obtained from Brian McKeating (70) of Windsor Avenue, Antrim.

The company carries on an IT consultancy business with a registered office at 10 Myrtlefield Park, Belfast, BT9 6NE. The company went into liquidation on 15 July 2021 with an estimated shortfall to creditors of £160,546.38. A total of £1 was outstanding as share capital, resulting in an estimated deficiency in respect of members of £160,547.38.

On 10 October 2023, the Department accepted the disqualification of Brian McKeating based on the following disqualifying conduct which was disputed for the purposes of the disqualification procedure only:

As a result of allowing the company to fail to register for VAT, HMRC had to collect £106,528 in VAT assessments, resulting in a loss of money due to the Crown from 2016/17. He continued to run the company regardless of his duties as a director in compliance with VAT regulations. As a result, the company had more cash than it should have had to fund its ongoing business and/or receive a substantial payout from the company in the form of dividends.

The department has accepted 10 disqualification agreements and the court has issued six disqualification orders for the financial year beginning 1 April 2023.

Notes for Teachers:

1. Insolvency practitioners acting as voluntary liquidators, administrative receivers and administrators are obliged to report unfit behavior to the Insolvency Service at the Department for the Economy.

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2. The purpose of the Department is to institute disqualification proceedings against directors of failed companies who have abused the privilege of limited liability status through negligence, incompetence or lack of business ethics. The legislation contained in the Company Directors Disqualification (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 (the „2002 Order”) is for the protection of the public and the business community, but should not prevent the operation of a genuine company.

3. In cases where a person is subject to a disqualification order made by a court or a disqualification agreement accepted by the Department, that person shall not be a director of a company, receiver of property of a company or act in any way. , may, directly or indirectly, without the permission of the High Court, be concerned or participate in the promotion, formation or management of a company. A disqualified person cannot be allowed to act as an insolvency practitioner.

4. Section 9 of the 2002 Ordinance provides that if a director is found disqualified he shall be disqualified for a minimum period of two years and a maximum period of fifteen years. Over the years, courts have decided that the seriousness of disqualifying conduct can be divided into three brackets, and while disqualification is mandatory, the case is less serious.

5. The 2002 Order allows directors, with the agreement of the department, to avoid the need for a court hearing by offering an acceptable disqualification agreement. It has the same legal effect as a disqualification order made by a court, and usually includes a schedule identifying the director’s unfit conduct. Consequences for breach of disqualification agreement are the same as for breach of disqualification order.

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6. Anyone who violates a disqualification order or violates their disqualification agreement commits a criminal offense and faces up to two years in prison or a fine or both. Anyone who has information that a disqualified person has contravened this provision should contact the Directors’ Disqualification Unit of the Insolvency Service on 028 90 548582.

7. The period of disqualification shall commence at the end of 21 days from the date of acceptance of disqualification by the Department.

8. To keep updated with the news of the Department, you can follow us on the following social media channels:

9. For media enquiries, please contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at [email protected].

10. Executive Information Service operates round the clock service For media inquiries only 1800 hrs to 0800 hrs Monday to Friday and on weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted at 028 9037 8110.

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