In the past few days in the media and elsewhere there have been very serious allegations made about NAMA and its operations. My colleague, Senator Darragh O'Brien, has come to possess material, about which he has spoken in the Seanad and which he will be sending to the Garda Síochána. I understand from media reports that a dossier on the behaviour of a previous employee has been sent to the Garda Commissioner. Very serious allegations have been made which go to the heart of confidence and trust in an extremely important body that is acting on taxpayers' behalf. Certainty, confidence and trust in that body are essential and that is my only remit this morning.
One of the allegations being made which requires urgent clarification from NAMA is that an entire file on a person whose loan book was with NAMA was sent to a partner in a major global property company who was acting on behalf of that person's rival in advance of a major and high profile court case. That would be a shocking revelation if proved true; therefore, the issue cannot be left hanging; it needs an urgent response. Did this happen and if it did, is it just an isolated case or are there others like it?
It has also been asserted that property valuations have been manipulated, which is extremely serious. A person quoted in the material states: "There were perfectly good loans written down in the banks so as to keep the NAMA dream alive. I was the one they relied on to get the massive low valuations. I destroyed people with these valuations." That is extremely serious and cannot be left unanswered for any period. It is very important that we receive a very robust response from the Government and the Minister for Finance in this regard.
The relationship between the Department of Finance and NAMA must be clarified and should be articulated very quickly. Freedom of information requests were tabled to the Department in August 2012, but only six of 19 documents were given in response to these requests. The issue of the remaining documents is with the appeals commissioner. The Taoiseach knows that from the correspondence we have learned that the Barclay brothers were in contact with the Department about loan books in the IBRC. If we are to have confidence and trust, I ask the Taoiseach to say to the Department that it should withdraw any objection it has to releasing all of the material into the public domain in order to show it has nothing to hide. We must demonstrate that the Department, NAMA and key institutions are operating above board. Will the Taoiseach give an assurance that this can happen?