€3m spent and agency still not up and running
THE National Property Services Regulatory Authority (NPSRA) will have the job of setting up the new national house-price database -- but first it has to be set up itself.
Incredibly, the NPSRA has been in existence in 'shadow form' for the past four years but the legislation to give it operating powers has still not been passed.
Fine Gael Dublin North East TD Terence Flanagan was quick to point this out yesterday -- and the fact that the quango had cost the taxpayer €3m in that time.
The NPSRA is based in Navan, Co Meath and has eight staff, along with a chief executive. It is due to be put on a statutory footing later this year when Justice Minister Dermot Ahern steers the Property Services (Regulation) Bill through its final stages.
That will finally allow it to carry out its role of monitoring industry professionals and protecting consumers.
One of its most important functions will be to license property management agents.
The NPSRA will also licence auctioneers and letting agents, requiring all of them to have adequate insurance and proper control of monies that are held on behalf of their clients.
It is also promising to set up a complaints system for consumers who deal with property-industry professionals.