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Nama’s Policy of Spin raises More Questions than Answers – Cullinane

17 October, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD for Waterford and member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane said today that the National Asset Management Agency needs to stop spinning and start engaging with the issues raised by the Project Eagle sale process.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“Last week, the Public Accounts Committee heard from Brian Rowntree, former external member of NAMA’s  Northern Advisory Committee [NIAC] where he said that information of a commercial nature was discussed at the meetings.

“This was in relation to a residential land bank research report written by a team from the University of Ulster.

NAMA refuted Mr. Rowntree’s evidence and cited a September 2014 presentation that was given to the committee, saying that this was not provided to Frank Cushnahan as he had resigned from the committee ten months previous.

However, NAMA neglected to mention the detailed presentation from the University of Ulster team on the residential land bank that was given to the NIAC on 18 June 2012.

NAMA also neglected to mention in its press release that a full and detailed presentation entitled Spatial Analysis of Residential Development Land Banks in Northern Ireland was given to the NIAC by the University of Ulster team on 10 December 2012 which covered  among other things: research contextualization, residential land holdings (NAMA and all banks), land holdings by planning status, key observations bank portfolio and land holdings, housing pipeline based on planning consents, completed stock and work in progress, sign posting opportunities, and maintaining momentum going forward.

The University of Ulster research paper was again discussed at a NIAC meeting on 22 April 2013.

Frank Cushnahan was present at all these meetings, as well as having sight of the original 68-page report on which the presentations were based.

The final presentation, on 8 September 2014, was on separate research paper that utilized the original research and placed it within a wider spatial planning document. The minutes record that this report was sent onto the NI Minister for Finance and Personnel.

So, NAMA mentions the one presentation for which Frank Cushnahan was not present, but fails to mention the other three for which he was present.

This is hardly full disclosure and begs the question; what is NAMA playing at here?

Hopefully, its board members will be able to provide answers tomorrow when they appear before the Public Accounts Committee.” 

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