There is a veritable maelstrom of speculation in Dublin property circles about the extent of the fall-out in the Enda Farrell affair. The former NAMA employee’s allegedly unauthorised removal and dissemination of confidential Agency information justifiably continues to generate headlines in its own right and questions remain unanswered – precisely what was disclosed and to whom and was any advantage secured on the back of confidential information.
But the speculation is that Enda Farrell was not the only NAMA employee who forwarded confidential information beyond the easily penetrated walls of the Agency. This week in the Dail, the Fianna Fail finance spokesperson Michael McGrath tried to probe at this general area when he asked for the number of disciplinary cases initiated at NAMA – answer: no answer – and the details of such disciplinary action – answer: get lost.
With 220 employees and an army of third party service providers including 400-500 staff at the participating banks, it is a surprise that we haven’t previously had such a scandal as is now unfolding. But if NAMA had uncovered wrongdoing and responded with disciplinary action, then it is keeping it all secret.
The full parliamentary question and response is shown below:
Deputy Michael McGrath: asked the Minister for Finance the number of cases, if any, in which the National Assets Management Agency has undertaken any form of disciplinary action in respect of any of its employees; and, in each case, if he will provide details of the reasons such disciplinary action was undertaken and the outcome of same.
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: I am advised that staff of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) are employees of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) who are assigned as officers of NAMA under the NAMA Act. In keeping with their obligations to their staff, including obligations under the Data Protection Acts, NTMA has been legally advised not to comment publicly on disciplinary matters.