Nama bosses and Noonan face quiz on rumours of staff breaking agency rules
NAMA chiefs Brendan McDonagh and Frank Daly and Finance Minister Michael Noonan are to be called upon to address persistent speculation that a number of the toxic loan agency's employees are now subject to disciplinary action arising from breaches of its code of conduct.
Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath has said he intends to raise the matter with Mr Noonan directly this week, and with Nama's bosses when they come before the Dail's Finance Committee.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr McGrath said the refusal by Nama to address widespread rumours that a number of its officials have been subjected to disciplinary action on the basis that the Data Protection Act precluded it from doing so merely "adds fuel to the fire".
He said: "Rumours have been circulating for some time about disciplinary action being taken by Nama against members of its staff and I sought information from the Finance Minister to establish if there was any truth to that.
"The purpose of my question was not to identify any of the individuals, but it was to find out whether or not the agency, which is managing over €74bn worth of loans, has taken any action against employees given what we know has emerged from the Enda Farrell story.
"It is a very reasonable question to ask Nama. it simply isn't good enough that they have stonewalled and hid behind data protection. They could have given the information without compromising the identities of individuals."
Referring to the action he intends to take on the matter, Mr McGrath added: "I will be raising this with the Finance Minister, asking him to clarify if any disciplinary action is being taken or has been taken. The rumours aren't going away and the evasive response from Nama simply adds fuel to the fire."
Contacted by the Sunday Independent, a spokesman for Nama referred to the response the Finance Minister had given Mr McGrath in his parliamentary question, in which he said: "In keeping with their obligations to their staff, including obligations under the Data Protection Acts, NTMA has been legally advised not to comment publicly on disciplinary matters."