NAMA might have just about have drawn a line for now under the Enda Farrell debacles last year – where the former NAMA employee whilst still employed at NAMA had bought a property from a NAMA developer at a price which NAMA didn’t convincingly defend and where the same employee allegedly removed confidential information on loans and disseminated it to third parties.
But there have been no lines drawn as far as Enda Farrell himself is concerned.
In the Dail this week, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter confirmed that the Gardai are still investigating the removal of information. You might recall that NAMA first made a complaint to the Gardai on 12th September 2012, so the investigation has been ongoing for six months, and it is over three months since the High Court case taken by NAMA against Enda concluded (save for the legal costs which are understood to be still outstanding). Enda faces a fine of up to €5m or five years in prison, or both, if the Gardai prosecute under the National Treasury Management Agency Act 1990, the NAMA Act, the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 as amended by the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 and the Official Secrets Act 1963.
Separately, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said he didn’t know anything about the investigation by the Data Protection Commissioner into the alleged leaking of the information, but it is understood the investigation there, too, is continuing.
The wheels of justice grind slowly…
Here are the two parliamentary questions and responses.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on the Garda Siochana investigation of the alleged unauthorised removal of confidential data by a former employee of the National Assets Management Agency.
Minister for Justice and Equality: I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Siochana received a complaint in relation to the alleged unauthorised removal of confidential data by a former employee of the National Assets Management Agency.
I am further informed that the matter is under investigation and a file will be submitted to the Law Officers upon completion of the investigation.
As this matter is under investigation it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will provide an update on the Data Protection Commissioner investigation of the alleged unauthorised removal of confidential data by a former employee of the National Assets Management Agency..
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: As the Deputy can appreciate, it is not my function, as Minister for Finance, to formally monitor cases been taken by the Data Protection Commissioner against individuals and companies. The Minister for Justice and Equality has advised me that the Data Protection Commissioner is independent in the performance of his duties.