The chairman of NAMA has told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that commercial data released by an employee did not compromise NAMA's commercial interests or prejudice any debtor.

Frank Daly outlined the circumstances surrounding the purchase of a NAMA property by a NAMA employee - Enda Farrell - and the subsequent investigation that revealed confidential data had been sent to a third party.

Mr Daly said he was mindful of the fact that the matter is before the courts - but outlined the chain of events as he knew them.

NAMA management were alerted to the purchase by the Sunday Times last August; they instructed Deloitte to investigate.

They sifted through 164,000 emails to and from Mr. Farrell between 2005 and 2012.

Mr Daly said they found he had sent 33 key emails containing confidential data to his wife who then worked at Ernst and Young.

However, he stressed that Ernst and Young were not involved in the transfer of information.

He went on to say that she appeared to have forwarded them to Mr. Farrell's personal account - with the material subsequently passed on to 10 unnamed recipients.

The matter is now the subject of investigations by the Gardai and the Data Protection Commissioner.

Since the controversy emerged, NAMA has introduced new rules on the purchase of property by employees which Mr Daly said were proportionate.

Frank Daly also revealed that one other NAMA employee is currently under investigation.

NAMA salaries total €15.5m

The NAMA chairman also revealed that 168 debtors being monitored by the agency are receiving salaries totalling €15.5 million.

Addressing the Oireachtas Finance Committee, Mr Daly said the total value of those debtors' debts is €61 billion.

He said the vast bulk of debtors - 112 out of 168 - were continuing to run businesses and were in receipt of salaries of between zero and €50,000.

Mr Daly said he didn't believe that they were funding extraordinary lifestyles.

€9.5bn in cash generated from asset disposals

NAMA also told the committee that the total cash generated from asset disposals and loan repayments now stands at €9.5 billion – up from €8 billion at the end of June.

Chief Executive Brendan McDonagh said the Agency’s cash receipts, up to mid-October, include €6.2 billion from asset disposals and €3.3 billion from recurring income such as rental payments on debtors’ properties and intensive management of assets securing the Agency’s loans.