NAMA can control fees paid to construction body
Published 08/11/2010 | 05:00
CASH-strapped developers could be banned from paying fees to industry lobby groups like the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) if the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) deems the spend "discretionary".
The news follows recent claims that Nama has told Johnny Ronan's Treasury Holdings to stop making charitable donations until its finances stabilise.
Sources suggested that fees to lobby groups like the CIF -- which has persistently criticised Nama's operations -- could come in for similar treatment.
The CIF is in the process of raising funds to finance its second consultant's report into Nama's operations, as part of its vow to keep a keen watch on the state agency. The funds will be largely raised by developers whose loans have gone into Nama. Several of these are likely to be in need of additional finance from Nama.
If Nama were to give loans to loss-making developers who then paid money to the CIF's Nama fund, the agency would effectively be financing a critical report on itself, sources pointed out.
A spokesman for Nama said the agency's policy was to "seek dramatically reduced overheads for those developers who are co-operating with us on implementing business plans to pay down their loans" but it would not ban specific payments.
Legal documents filed as part of Paddy McKillen's recent challenge to Nama claimed the state agency had told one developer that "all charity payments" which were "generally made from surplus rents must be stopped".
The developer was identified only as someone who co-owned a Dublin building with Mr McKillen, but the statement was understood to refer to Treasury Holdings.
Senior CIF figures last night said the lobby group would not ease its scrutiny of Nama just because the state agency could cut off funding from some developers.