Two good articles by IT journalists over the weekend.
THE INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund (IMF) told the Government that the definition of “long-term economic value” on bank loans in the draft Nama Bill was “masterful” as it was “sufficiently specific” and “sufficiently vague” to allow “appropriate flexibility”.
Steven Seelig, an adviser at the IMF, made the comments in an e-mailed response to a request by the Department of Finance for his opinion on the draft National Asset Management Agency Bill published last August.
“It is both sufficiently specific and sufficiently vague to allow appropriate flexibility. I hope you can retain this language,” said Mr Seelig, an expert on “bad banks”, in a private e-mail to department officials sent on August 25th.
The e-mail was among records released to The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act relating to representations made to the department on Nama.
THE NATIONAL Asset Management Agency (Nama) should be required to register with the Land Registry or the Registry of Deeds, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan has been advised.
In correspondence released to The Irish Times under the Freedom of Information Act, the Law Society of Ireland and the Property Registration Authority both expressed concern about the exemption for Nama assets to register in the Land Registry or the Registry of Deeds.
The society wrote to Mr Lenihan in September to say “normal conveyancing practice” should not be disrupted by Nama and that the agency should be required to register its interest in a land bank or property title.
The Property Registration Authority said the exemption for Nama assets to register “would appear to run counter to public policy and the necessity of transparency and reliability in land registers”.
Registration on a State register “provides clarity and certainty”, John Coleman, chairman of the Property Registration Authority, wrote to the Department of Finance. Other letters written to Mr Lenihan expressing concerns about the workings of Nama included a note from Bernard Allen TD, chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts.
I will be seeking copies of these FoI in my own future FoIs.