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NAMA Portfolio: Documentation

Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 13th October 2015.

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Photo of Claire Hanna Claire Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party 2:45 pm, 13th October 2015

5. Ms Hanna asked the Minister of Finance and Personnel, of the documents requested by the Committee for Finance and Personnel in relation to the sale of the National Assets Management Agency's local portfolio, how many have not been provided. (AQO 8871/11-16)

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

I can confirm that all relevant information held by my Department has been shared with the Committee to support its fact-finding review.

Photo of Claire Hanna Claire Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party

Can the Minister advise what documents, if any, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has requested from her Department?

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

I cannot, because it continues to meet the Department, and I think that it would be wrong if I indulged the Member in what has been discussed with the NCA. It is a criminal investigation, and I am sure that she respects that. We will have ongoing discussions with the National Crime Agency, but, as I said, all the information has now been forwarded to the Committee for its perusal, and I have no doubt that it will look through it and ask questions appropriately.

Photo of Jim Allister Jim Allister Traditional Unionist Voice

In three recent written replies, the Minister advised me that no record had been kept of the ministerial meeting in March 2014 with Cerberus, that there were no records in the Department of the alleged briefings of Executive colleagues on the NAMA loan book and that she was unable to give any information about departmental ministerial meetings with Ian Coulter, Frank Cushnahan and Gareth Robinson because it would be too difficult to collect the information. Why is there that culture of not keeping records? Is it so the Department can cover its tracks when it comes to NAMA?

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

No, it is not.

Photo of Pat Sheehan Pat Sheehan Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat, a LeasCheann Comhairle. Does the Minister believe that Sammy Wilson and Simon Hamilton should now follow her example and cooperate with the Finance Committee inquiry to establish exactly what their dealings were with PIMCO and Cerberus?

Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP

I am unaware as to whether they have been asked to attend the Committee. I am sure that, if they are asked, they will consider the request as to whether they should attend to help the Committee in its investigation and whether they can be of use to the Committee in its investigation. It is up to them, at the end of the day, whether they attend, but I am not aware whether they have been asked to attend at this time.