NAMA really is the gift that keeps on giving to Ireland’s service sector. With no sign of any let-up in the money spent by NAMA on Ernst and Young, the firm which until recently employed Enda Farrell’s wife, Alice Kramer – yesterday we learned E&Y has been appointed receivers to a Limerick developer – there are also many other firms of lawyers, receivers and property companies which continue to ride the NAMA gravy train. Today, we learn of another hitherto-overlooked benefactor of NAMA’s professional fees largesse – the recruitment company.
Yesterday in the Oireachtas, the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan just how much NAMA was spending on recruitment fees. Remembering that the NTMA advertises vacancies online and has a dedicated Human Resources department, the response is staggering. In 2011, when the NAMA headcount went from 100 to 200, the Agency spent €316,000 and for the first nine months of 2012, it has spent €197,000. In 2012, we recently learned that NAMA has recruited 28 new employees whilst it has lost 15 – including Enda Farrell and Graham Emmett. So it seems the recruitment fees have proportionately rocketed in 2012.
In addition to external recruitment fees, it has been reported that the NAMA CEO, Brendan McDonagh takes particular and special interest in recruitment of NAMA employees, who now total 220. Brendan has in the past been reported to be working 75-hour weeks, with 5% of his working day spent on recruitment matters.
The full text of the parliamentary question is here.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will quantify the fees paid by the National Asset Management Agency for the recruitment of staff in 2011 and for the nine months ending 30 September 2012..
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: I am advised that the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has incurred recruitment costs in respect of employees assigned to the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) of €316,000 during 2011 and €197,000 for the nine months ending 30 September. Such recruitment costs include fees paid to recruitment agencies, pre-employment medical tests and psychometric testing, and advertising. The NTMA and NAMA have sought to minimise recruitment costs through the direct advertisement of staff vacancies on their websites. Under Section 42 (4) of the National Asset Management Agency Act, NAMA is required to reimburse NTMA for the costs incurred including the recruitment and assignment of staff to NAMA.