Senator plans to introduce private members’ legislation
THE IRISH TIMES
Nama properties and loans should be sold by tender or public auction in the same way as State assets, the Seanad has heard.
Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly said the Office of Public Works (OPW) sold all State assets by tender or public auction. The banks which managed loan books on behalf of Nama should dispose of these assets in the same manner as the OPW, and that would create full confidence in Nama.
Following allegations in the Seanad about undervaluation of State assets by Nama, the Kerry Senator is to introduce private members’ legislation:the Nama and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Transparency Bill. It provides for all properties being sold by or on behalf of the agency, the world’s largest property management company, to be listed on a website.
The Bill states that Nama should sell all assets in an open and transparent manner.
“In the past notifications have been placed in the newspapers in respect of properties that were sold. However, nobody knew that these were for sale. How is that good for the taxpayer?”said Mr Daly.
A former auctioneer, he said there were various ways to sell property. “Doing so by way of backroom deals is not really in the interests of the taxpayer.”
Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins called for a review of the agency’s “draconian powers” and a possible amendment to the Nama Act to make the agency more accountable.
Ms Higgins, who made allegations against a former Nama employee, said “we need to do something constructive”.
Fine Gael Seanad whip Paul Coghlan said the Opposition did not substantiate a single allegation and claimed it was done for publicity reasons.
Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne said his party colleague Darragh O’Brien was accused of “grandstanding” in allegations against Nama. Yet Mr O’Brien had refused to be accompanied by photographers or reporters when he went to the Garda with documentation about Nama.
Friday, December 20, 2013