Kerry-based senator Mark Daly has called for more transparency at the National Asset Management Agency.
The auctioneer raised the matter in the Seanad last week following the sale of 450 acres of land adjacent to Cork City, saying that a Bill that he was a part of should be enacted to help the public become more aware of what properties NAMA is selling.
Speaking in the Seanad, he said: “Will the leader allow time for a discussion on the NAMA and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Transparency Bill 2011 which my colleagues and I have published? This Bill allows the public to see the properties that NAMA is selling.
“Last week a property that was never on the market, but which was bought for €100 million, was sold for €7 million. Nobody in the area knew it was for sale and then it was gone.
“Under the legislation NAMA must sell all State assets under its control. Loans are State assets and NAMA is a State body and must sell them in an open and transparent manner in accordance with the sale of public goods, whether by tender or public auction. This is what NAMA is supposed to do but it is not doing it. We are losing millions of euro as a result of a lack of transparency,” he said.
The following day government chief whip Senator Paul Coghlan replied on behalf of NAMA.
He told the Seanad: “I am rebutting something that was stated seriously in this Chamber yesterday. I put on record that two independent valuations of approximately €10,000 an acre were carried out by reputable firms in that regard.
“When NAMA acquired that loan, it reflected the state of the market at that time. It was sold in one lot at a price significantly above what the agency paid for it and consequently, a profit was made for the taxpayer.”