NAMA to retender contract following fraud investigation into preferred bidder

Friday 13 September 2013 19.30
NAMA said the investigation, and the timing required for the contract, meant a retender was the best option
NAMA said the investigation, and the timing required for the contract, meant a retender was the best option

The National Asset Management Agency is to retender a contract relating to IBRC loans after the preferred bidder of a previous tender became subject to fraud allegations in Britain.

NAMA is due to acquire any outstanding IBRC loans following its liquidation and had selected a number of companies to manage those loan portfolios once the transfer had taken place.

British firm Serco was selected as the preferred bidder for the personal loan portfolio, which the agency said has a potential value of €1.8 billion.

However, after a British Ministry of Justice audit last month highlighted a number of issues with the company, with police being asked to investigate fraud allegations relating to a £285 million prison escorting contract.

The allegations relate to claims that some prisoners had been recorded as having been delivered to court by Serco staff when they were not.

Following the audit, Serco's CEO Christopher Hyman said they would "put right any issues that arise" from the investigation.

However, NAMA has today said that given the investigation, and the "timeframes required to prepare for the transaction of the loans", it has decided not to complete its contract with the firm, but to instead launch a new tender process for the portfolio.

It said it would publish a new 'Request for Proposals' early next week on etenders.gov.ie, with a deadline set for the end of October.

In a statement, a spokesman for Serco said that the misreporting of performance data on the contract with the UK Ministry of Justice was undertaken without the knowledge or approval of management.

It said the contract would have had a total value to Serco of €15 million.