Revelations today that a senior executive at NAMA was able to purchase a property from the agency’s portfolio which was not put up for sale on the open market should be referred to the Gardai to investigate further under the NAMA Act 2009, according to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.
Deputy McGrath, who was responding to the story carried on The Sunday Times today, stated, “In my view, it is completely unacceptable for an employee of NAMA to be allowed to conduct a private purchase of a property in the NAMA portfolio in this manner. It exposes the agency to the most serious allegations about how it does its business.
“It is clear that the compliance procedures within NAMA did not work in this case. This raises the question of how many other times such private purchases have occurred involving NAMA staff or persons connected to them. I believe the failure of NAMA’s compliance procedures in this case and their overall effectiveness needs to be fully investigated by an independent person appointed by the Minister for Finance. I also believe that this particular case needs to be investigated by the Gardai to establish if an offence has occurred under Section 202 or any other section of the NAMA Act 2009.
“It also seems in this case that the property was sold without being put up for sale on the open market. Last May, I raised this issue in the Dáil with the Minister for Finance after it emerged that a prime 450-acre parcel of land on the outskirts of Cork City was sold to ‘a special purchaser’ without being put up for sale on the open market. NAMA has refused so far to say how many of its sales have been done in this way. In my opinion, all properties being sold by or on behalf of NAMA should be publicly advertised and all potential bidders should be given an opportunity to compete for the property. I intend to raise this issue again when the Dáil resumes in September.”