No notes or records were kept at a series of high-level Irish Water meetings in 2012, between the then Environment Minister Phil Hogan and the Bord Gáis chairperson, Rose Hynes, according to documents seen by RTÉ’s This Week.

The briefing sessions took place in Mr Hogan's Leinster House office in October and November that year.

According to records in Mr Hogan's diary at the time, there were no civil servants at either meeting, which took place at a time when many key issues were being considered in relation to the future development of the new water utility.

Bord Gáis, now named Ervia, told RTÉ that it was "customary" for such meetings to occur without any recording of what was discussed.

A spokesperson for the Department said that "as officials were not present at the meetings the agendas or reports of the meetings are not generally available and therefore are a matter for those present".

In total, there were no notes or minutes recorded at more than half of all meetings between the Department of the Environment and Bord Gáis, in the utility's first six months, RTÉ ‘s This Week has established.

In total, 23 meetings took place between Bord Gáis and the Department of Environment between April and September 2012 - of which just ten had minutes. Of these, half have just one typed page of notes.

The two meetings between Mr Hogan and Ms Hynes occurred later in 2012, and in total, four meetings between Mr Hogan and Bord Gáis officials were not recorded.

However, the Department said it had no concern over the level of recording of meetings which took place at the time.

Renua party leader, Deputy Lucinda Creighton, told RTÉ it was essential that the Oireachtas Environment Committee investigate the lack of fully documented meetings at such an important stage of the new utility's set up.

Also commenting on the lack of records, Dr Paul Davis of Dublin City University Business School, told RTÉ's This Week that he was taken aback that no civil servants attended the meetings between Mr Hogan and Ms Hynes. He said it was critical that all meetings should be documented and transparent, to diminish the risk of future litigation from third parties.

He said the any party to an undocumented series of meetings could be exposed to the risk that one side remembered verbal assurances which another party might not. In such a scenario, without proper documentary evidence to record what was said and agreed, there was an increased risk of damaging litigation.

A spokesperson for the Department said that following the Government decision to establish Irish Water as a subsidiary of BGE and for Irish Water to implement the domestic metering programme in April 2012, there were regular meetings between the Department and Irish Water and indeed other stakeholders. As part of this process there were also regular "checkpoint meetings" between the Department and BGE. 

"In most cases, minutes or a note of a meeting would be recorded. However, if a meeting was simply a briefing on issues there may simply be a record of the meeting having taken place with progress on the various issues being pursued through separate working arrangements, for example, through the development and exchange of documents such as letters/memoranda of understanding and recording in programme management tracking records. In light of this, the Department has no concerns regarding records of the implementation decisions taken".