Our Proposals for Project Eagle Commission of Investigation

September 26, 2016

The Social Democrats have  written to the Taoiseach with proposals for a Commission of Investigation to examine the sale of the Project Eagle portfolio and actions of NAMA since it was established.

The ten core proposals in our letter are:

1.     The Commission

We believe the investigation must be carried out by a Statutory Commission

2.     Commission to be established as soon as possible

While the PAC has a role to play its remit is limited, therefore the commission should be established as soon as possible. However, the PAC may provide input into the scope of the investigation

3.     NAMA transactions and Commission remit

The Commission should have remit to examine the issues surrounding the major transactions of NAMA since its establishment. It must cover all potential issues of the sale be they financial, political or criminal.

4.     Compellability

The Commission must have the powers of compellability of witnesses and the powers of discovery of all relevant documentation held with state bodies – including electronic correspondence.

5.     Independent experts

If required, independent experts of standing who have the ability to examine the many technical issues arising in the workings of NAMA should be selected from outside the island of Ireland

6.     Co-Operation with Northern Ireland

While every effort should be made to achieve full cooperation from the Northern Irish institutions and actors involved in this matter, if this is not forthcoming the Commission’s work to address these areas of concern should be allowed to continue.

7.     Unique internal structure of NAMA

The scope of the Commission’s investigation should include the unique internal structure which NAMA adopted, on foot of political advice, within Northern Ireland.

8.     Immediate briefing of NAMA activities

NAMA should brief the Oireachtas on its remaining assets and intended disposals. If required the suspension of NAMA’s commercial activity, pending further analysis, would then be considered.

9.     Anti-Corruption Agency

The Social Democrats proposed, and received Dáil approval for, the establishment of an Independent Anti-Corruption Agency. In light of the serious need to improve accountability, end cronyism and restore confidence in public life we believe this agency should be progressed as a matter of urgency.

10.  Resourcing of the C and AG

If resourcing remains a concern for the C and AG this must be addressed as he has indicated his intention to look in detail at a wider sample of NAMA disposals.