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Committee probing €1.6bn Project Eagle deal want to quiz Nama about board meetings notes

By Cormac McQuinn

A Dáil committee probing Nama's controversial €1.6bn Project Eagle deal wants to quiz the agency on why notes from board meetings weren't retained.

TDs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have decided to recall Nama to explain why it did not retain its contemporaneous notes of two board meetings in the months before the 2014 sale of it's Northern Ireland loan book.

Its understood that Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh is to be invited to appear before the committee again as early as next week.

The plan for a further public meeting means it is increasingly unlikely that the PAC's report on the Project Eagle will be published before the new year as had been planned.

The new invitation for Nama to appear came after TDs requested copies of any contemporaneous notes - in their original format - used in preparation of the minutes of board meetings held on December 12, 2013 and January 8, 2014.

Nama responded to the PAC saying that once minutes are adopted by the board, they are the official record of that particular meeting.

As a result, the Board Secretary’s contemporaneous notes of the meeting are transitory records and are not retained.

PAC chairman Seán Fleming said: "I find it surprising that at key meetings where the sale of Northern Ireland assets worth £1.3bn was being discussed that notes from which the minutes were to be prepared have not been retained by NAMA.

"Put simply, this means these records have been disposed of and were destroyed."

He said Nama has been recalled to explain the matter and he expects a meeting of PAC early next week.

A spokesman for Nama said: "We have not received any notification of this from the Committee as yet.  Therefore we have no comment to make on the matter at this time."

TDs are examining Project Eagle after the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) found that a probable loss of £190m (€223m) was incurred in the sale.

Nama has rejected this finding.

Irish Independent

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