Thursday, 22 November 2018

Questions (33)

Mick Wallace

Question:

33. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the latest progress report by the Comptroller and Auditor General into the National Asset Management Agency; his views on the findings regarding section 172 declarations, particularly that NAMA case managers do not carry out verification processes regarding these; his further views on whether this may have had knock-on effects on loan and property sales; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48605/18]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The C&AG section 226 report recorded a small number of instances (4 out of a total of 78) where Section 172 confirmations could not be located in respect of sales.

I am advised that Section 172 confirmations are examined by NAMA when a sale occurs and that NAMA has a policy of obtaining written confirmation from purchasers of NAMA secured assets that, among other things, the purchaser is not a party precluded from completing the purchase by virtue of Section 172(3) of the NAMA Act 2009.

Section 172(3) in summary prevents the sale of property back to defaulting debtors. Under Section 7(2) of the NAMA Act 2009, any person who intentionally, recklessly or through gross negligence provides false or inaccurate information to NAMA commits a criminal offence. In addition, under Section 6 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1938, it is a criminal offence for a declarant to make a statutory declaration which is false or misleading in any material respect. As such, I do not believe that there is any effect on loan or property sales as there are significant consequences where a confirmation or declaration made for these purposes later turns out to be false, inaccurate or misleading.The fact that the provision of false or inaccurate information or a false declaration constitutes a criminal offence is considered to be a strong deterrent to any purchaser who might be contemplating doing so.