Wednesday 20 June 2018

O'Flynns given date for Nama 'data leak' decision

Helen Dixon ‘failed to properly deal with complaint’
Helen Dixon ‘failed to properly deal with complaint’

Tim Healy

THE Data Protection Commissioner will decide within two weeks on a complaint by developers Michael and John O'Flynn alleging Nama failed to provide them with all of their personal data held by it.

Under a settlement of proceedings by the brothers alleging Commissioner Helen Dixon had failed to properly deal with and finalise their November 2014 complaint, the Commissioner will decide the complaint by February 27, the High Court was told on Tuesday.

The Commissioner will also pay the brothers' costs of their judicial review, Mr Justice Seamus Noonan heard. He agreed to adjourn the matter to February 28 so the settlement can be implemented.

In their action, the brothers had claimed failure to finalise their complaint in a timely fashion breached their rights.

They said, after the O'Flynn group loans were transferred in early 2010 to a Nama company, National Assets Loan Management Ltd, the group engaged with Nama about restructuring their loans with the intention of continuing in business. They gave Nama documents comprising at least 2,000 pages, including "highly confidential and personal" information, they claimed.

Nama later sold their loans in May 2013 to Blackstone's Carbon Finance for a reported €1.1bn.

In September 2014, the O'Flynns asked Nama's Data Protection Officer to give them any personal data kept by it concerning them. They claimed Nama provided some personal data but its response failed to meet their entitlements. They made a complaint to the Commissioner in November 2014.

They disputed Nama's claims it was entitled to exclude data on grounds including legal privilege and so as not to prejudice the agency's interests or ability to recover monies owed to the State. Michael O'Flynn wrote to the Commissioner in June 2015 about delay finalising their complaint, saying the information would be relevant to evidence he was being asked to provide for the Oireachtas Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis.

The brothers and their company O'Flynn Construction have alleged Nama leaked "confidential" information concerning them and that this undermined the marketing strategy Nama had agreed with them. They claim the information was financial, personal and corporate and the sums involved were very large, relating to assets worth "hundreds of millions".

Nama denied the claim. The brothers have said they need certain documents for their case.

Irish Independent

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