Social Democrats call for NAMA briefing and says agency’s work may need to be suspended

September 16, 2016

The Social Democrats are calling for NAMA to brief all party leaders about what properties still exist in their portfolios and about impending transactions.

“In light of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report into Project Eagle we believe it is now essential that we know which assets NAMA currently holds and their intended disposals’, said Roísín Shortall T.D.

She added: “With such serious concerns expressed in the C and AG report we need to ask if there are grounds for suspending NAMA’s operations until we are fully confident that best practice is being followed. We don’t want to be back where we are now in a few years time investigating the NAMA sales which are currently ongoing.”

During his attendance at the Public Accounts Committee in July 2015 the Comptroller and Auditor General said: “I previously indicated to the committee that, when preparing the next section 226 report, I intended to look in detail at a sample of NAMA disposals and a sample of properties held by it for investment.”

In yesterday’s meeting between the Taoiseach and opposition party leaders Deputy Shortall put forward the Social Democrats’ view that a NAMA briefing was necessary.

“The Taoiseach suggested parliamentary questions could be posed to look into NAMA’s current sales book but I believe a thorough briefing from the Agency to party leaders would be more effective and transparent,” said Deputy Shortall.

The Social Democrats have called for a full Commission of Investigation into NAMA’s major sales, with the first module addressing and reporting on the issues surrounding Project Eagle.

“We believe there should be three aspects to the investigation – they being financial, political and criminal. In terms of the political element the C&AG’s report raises a number of questions for Minister Noonan in respect of his and his Department’s actions, which had a direct bearing on the strategic decisions taken by NAMA. These include the recommendation to establish the NIAC, the approval of the reappointment of Frank Cushnahan, his decision to instruct NAMA to expedite the disposal of assets ahead of schedule, and why he didn’t act in respect of Project Eagle when alarm bells started to ring,” said Deputy Shortall.