Finance Minister Michael Noonan is to review an invitation to the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), his spokesman has said today writes Irish Examiner Political Editor Daniel McConnell.
The PAC is investigating the controversy around Nama’s sale of its €1.6bn Northern loan book and there have been calls for Mr Noonan to make himself available to the committee, despite it not being the norm for ministers to go before it.
But today, Mr Noonan’s spokesman said he is now to review the invitation before making a decision on whether he will attend.
“It is not normal practice for a Minister to appear before the PAC" and "the Department of Finance will co-operate fully with the PAC as the Department always does,” the spokesman said in a statement to the Irish Examiner.
PAC Chairman Sean Fleming said he was “hopeful” Mr Noonan would appear to discuss his role in the controversial sale which resulted in a major loss to the taxpayer, according to a special report published by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) last week.
Speaking on radio, Mr Fleming said he welcomed the decision to review the invitation.
The C&AG report found the sale incurred a potential loss to the taxpayer of £190m on the sale after previous write downs were included.
NAMA "categorically rejected" the key conclusions reached by the C&AG saying the key finding of the report is "fundamentally unsound and unstable and cannot be left unchallenged".
The Government last week confirmed the PAC would first examine the report into the affair, beginning on 29 September, before a formal inquiry is launched.