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Taoiseach says that cost of NAMA commission so far is over €2.5 million

So far, €2.5 million has been spent on the commission since it was established in 2017.

Image: RollingNews.ie/Sam Boal

THE NAMA COMMISSION has cost the state over €2.5 million since being established three years ago, according to Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

In a question asked by Aontú’s Peadar Toibin, Martin revealed that the total cost of the commission has been €2,592,934 since 2017.

The commission was initially set up to investigate the disposal of NAMA’s Northern Irish loan portfolio, also known as Project Eagle. 

The Department of the Taoiseach originally expected the final cost of the commission would be around €10 million, and according to the Department, there is no revised estimate at this stage.

“My Department originally estimated that the final cost of the Commission, including third party legal costs, was likely to be approximately €10 million,” said Martin.

Martin also said that the deadline for reporting on the initial phase of work has been extended from its original date in June to September 2020.

The Oireachtas’s Public Accounts Committee report originally called the sales strategy of the loan portfolio “seriously deficient”, and said that NAMA did not get the best value for money on the portfolio. 

Martin was also questioned on the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) commission of investigation, revealing that since it was first established in 2015 has cost the state €7.9 million. This is excluding legal costs, which have not yet been paid.

However, there is uncertainty as to the final cost of this commission of investigation, with the commission itself estimating between €11 and €14 million. The Department of the Taoiseach, meanwhile, believes that the final cost could significantly outstrip the commission’s estimate at €30 million.

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Oversight

Tóibín called out the cost of these commissions, saying that there was a lack of control over how the money is spent. 

“There is serious concern over the expenditure of taxpayer funds with negligible oversight or control,” said Tóibín.

“The [IBRC] Commission of Investigation was due to issue its final report at the end of 2015 at an estimated cost of €4 million. Yet here we are in the second half of 2020, the first module of 38 modules is not complete and has been extended a further three months.”

“We want to see these Commissions get to the heart of the IBRC and NAMA decisions but we are also calling on the government get a grip of these runaway costs now.”

-additional reporting by Dominic McGrath

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