The current discussion with regard to Apple and taxation is an interesting one. Regardless of your point of view on what strategy the Irish Government should adopt, the worrying thing is the level and quality of contingency/risk planning which is evident from the obvious surprise/shock on the level of award made and the lack of a joined up and timely response. The major lesson I would take from this episode is that someone in official Ireland needs to grasp how the Government on an ongoing basis interprets potential risks and assesses all of the options on various outcomes, so that in future the response to challenges is almost automated and clear.
If you want an example of how an entity or organisation can be managed to withstand any eventuality, regardless of how unlikely the threat, think Cantor Fitzgerald. In the space of two hours, the firm lost 658 of its 960 New York employees in the September 11 attacks, as well as much of its office space and trading facilities. Despite these significant losses, the firm was able to resume business within a week. It remains a successful company today.
My sense is that given the jurisdiction of the Commission is questionable at the very least on this issue, that prudent government would have been proactively fighting this on the front foot prior to any decisions being made rather than waiting to react. At the very least, the response to any award, regardless of quantum, should have been swift and decisive regardless of which opinion it favoured.
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