“I submitted a question to Minister for Finance asking that he would instruct NAMA to ensure that the sale of any of its properties is done in an open and transparent way. The Minister confirmed that NAMA has issued guidelines to be followed by its debtors and receivers when disposing assets. As part of these guidelines it is required that, wherever feasible, their sale should be on the open market and should be publicly advertised.
“Under legislation NAMA has a duty to obtain the best achievable financial return for the State. When the sale of land is not done in an open and transparent manner it gives rise to suspicions that the maximum financial return may have not been achieved.
“We are not operating in a normal functioning property market and NAMA is not an ordinary private bank. Sale of property is slow and NAMA is a public body which must act in the interest of the State. Both of these points make it even more important that NAMA is open and transparent in all of its dealings.
“Under the current guidelines, sale on the open market and public advertisement of sale is only required where it is feasible. As NAMA’s duty is to act in the interest of the State there should be an obligation that the sale of all land is publicly advertised on the open market. The NAMA Board must reconsider its guidelines.
“The recent sale of land in Douglas, which was not publicly advertised, may well have achieved a fair market price but the practices involved give rise to suspicion and anger. Every person in the State is facing the consequences of the few who were involved in exuberant land speculation. At the very least they now deserve that the sale of NAMA land is both open and transparent.”