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Top auditors, consultants may be excluded from the looming NAMA contracts

Some of the biggest accountancy practices and consultancy firms in the country could be excluded from winning lucrative NAMA contracts because of their previous associations with developers.

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) is assembling a team of advisers to forensically examine the business plans of the country's top 100 developers.But yesterday the organisation indicated that a conflict may arise if an expert firm has an association with one of the borrowers.

Applicants for the contracts will have to disclose their previous associations and also prove that no conflicts exist.

"Any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest must be fully disclosed in writing to NAMA as soon as such conflict or potential conflict becomes apparent," said the organisation.


"In the event of a conflict or potential conflict of interest, Nama shall, in its absolute discretion, decide on the appropriate course of action, which may involve the exclusion of the relevant candidate from this process."

With some 100 developers to be evaluated, the scale of the examination is significant and a large panel of advisers is likely to be recruited.

Experience in advising on property-related businesses will be key to selecting the candidates, according to Nama.

The advisers will be asked to perform a financial analysis of a borrower's business plans, including an objective assessment of the key assumptions. The advisers will later provide Nama with a report on the business plan and a recommendation on what should happen to the developer concerned.

NAMA is proposing to award contracts for two years until December 31, 2011. "The contract for services will be limited and preference will be given to firms which have investment banking and accountancy skills as their core skill set," said NAMA.

Major firms

Some major firms have asked Nama if working with banks could exclude them from the process. The toxic loan agency said these firms would have to prove that no conflicts exist.

"Firms that are/were retained by financial institutions that have the ability to provide the required services to NAMA are eligible once it can be proved that no conflicts exist between the service provider and the borrowers whose plans are being evaluated," said NAMA.

Irish Independent