Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
75. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Finance if he will provide a progress report on the programme for Government commitment to provide the highest standards of transparency in the operation of the National Asset Management Agency, on reduction in the costs associated with the operation of NAMA and that decision making in NAMA does not delay the restoration of the Irish property market. [18601/11]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): As Minister for Finance I met with the NAMA Board on 13 April 2011 when I explained that I expect the agency to comply with the Government commitment to the highest standards of transparency to the maximum extent possible. This is an issue which I will be following closely. There are a range of statutory reporting requirements which ensure transparency of NAMA operations. Apart from the statutory reporting mechanisms, NAMA advises me that it is seeking to enhance the availability of information with regard to properties. In that regard, under an initiative currently in preparation, NAMA will include on its website a database of properties which are under the control of receivers. This will provide a single source of information on NAMA assets which are for sale and it will be updated on a monthly basis. NAMA expects to launch the site later this month.
Excluding €30m in due diligence costs which were borne by the participating institutions, NAMA costs in 2010 were €46m. €17m of this was expended on salary and other direct costs (including office rent and audit fees) associated with running the Agency. Another €15m was payment to about 500 staff in participating institutions that carry out the day-to-day administration of loans on behalf of NAMA. The residual costs of €14m are one-off payments associated with setting up the agency.
NAMA advises me that if one-off due diligence and other costs are excluded, core costs —€32m — are only 0.1% of the acquisition price paid for acquired loans. I have been assured by the Chairman and Chief Executive of NAMA that they are very conscious of the need to keep costs to the absolute minimum and to ensure that value for money is achieved.
As regards decision making in NAMA, the agency has directed all participating institutions to ensure that credit applications are forwarded to it within ten business days of being received from debtors. NAMA, in turn, aims to respond to applications within ten business days of receiving them from institutions. Accordingly, in normal circumstances, a debtor credit application should be processed within twenty business days of being submitted by the debtor to the institution and, in the case of letters of release, this process would be further expedited.
I have asked the NAMA Board to consider initiatives which would help to get the property market moving again in a sustainable manner. One such proposal is currently being considered by officials from my Department, in conjunction with officials from NAMA and from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.
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