August 1, 2009

Dublin Docklands 2008 Accounts Stalled for NAMA's Taxpayer Massage?

Is DDDA Cooking The 2008 Books?

How much longer can Mr John Gormley "sit by and watch the taxpayer stuffed for millions of euro"?

February 2009: DDDA promised the Oireachtas Committee on Environment it would publish the 2008 annual accounts by the end of June “at the latest”.

August 2009: DDDA now says the 2008 Accounts "won’t be published until the autumn” of 2009. NAMA and the Lisbon treaty will be done by then.

Is DDDA Cooking The 2008 Books?

Truthful governance requires DDDA's 2008 Annual Account to be the financial snapshot for December 31, 2008. That is last December in 2008, not next December in 2009. Placing future values for some random date in Autumn 2009 into accounts for 2008 is bad governance, misleads readers of the report and echoes Seanie's deals with Irish Life - 'parking' seven billion Euro into Anglo for one day in order to (allegedly) cook Anglo's books. The Fraud Squad is allegedly looking into that.

The famed dogs in the street know the polluted Glass Bottle (IGB) site had zero or negative market value on December 31, 2008. This is a write down of perhaps €450 Million from the consortiums last stated price. Zero, or less, is the price for DDDA's 2008 Annual Account for IGB.

For the 2009 annual accounts the true and fair financial snapshot is for December 31, 2009. By then NAMA will have rigged the market behind closed doors and possibly bought the polluted Glass Bottle site with taxpayer money. DDDA's annual report for 2009 can then state the 2009 price for the Glass Bottle asset.

It seems DDDA is waiting for the highly secretive NAMA to be set up before it massages its 2008 accounts. Then DDDA could award itself planning permission for the DDDA 'investment', re-massage the accounts (truthfully of course, as per opaque accounting 'rules') and tap the taxpayers through NAMA. The facts can all be legally buried in the legalised NAMA dung-heap.

Tesco, Cisco and Wallmart run accounts for hundreds of millions of transactions on a daily basis, in real time. Meanwhile DDDA can not or will not produce a statement for the state of play for just one day, the last day of 2008. And this is with a 'corporate governance specialist' heading the board.


Non-publication of the 2008 accounts stalls updating on the following (; Phoenix, October 2008):

Dunne/Liam Carroll debacle

  • Carroll’s €200m north quay scheme was been rendered null and void (the 'illegal Anglo-Irish bank HQ).
  • Se├ín Dunne will be looking for massive compensation.

Treasury Holdings Litigation

  • Ronan and Barrett have claimed that the DDDA “seriously compromised itself”
  • High Court finding: agreement gave rise to “a reasonable apprehension of bias”

U2 Tower

  • The winning scheme could not be identified as relevant details had been lost

Irish Glass Bottle site
  • Sold off by Paul Coulson and Dublin Port for a whopping €424m.
  • Bernard McNamara put in €57.5m for a 41% stake but only €5m in cash.
  • Davy clients get a hefty 17% per annum return.
  • €288m loan from Anglo Irish Bank
  • promised further €900m in development finance from Anglo Irish Bank.
  • “unsecured interest-free” loans to Becbay
  • Governance: Catherine Mullarkey, an ex-Anglo Irish executive. Donal O’Connor – replaced Bradshaw as DDDA chairman – board of Anglo Irish Bank. Now heads Anglo Irish Bank. O’Connor was/is a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers, which did audit & consultancy services for the DDDA.


Anonymous said...

One development-land expert recently told the Sunday Tribune that the U2 site is now worth less than €10m, significantly below the bids of up to €100m which were submitted for the site by various competitors.

The DDDA is also facing a multimillion-euro bill from Dublin-based architectural firm BDCH, whose proposal had originally won the international competition to design a tower for the site.

Anonymous said...

Sunday, 9 August 2009
DDDA at risk of massive losses on Ringsend site

An investment of more than €100 million by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority(DDDA) is at risk of being almost wiped out in the coming weeks.

The Environmental Protection Agency( EPA) is in the process of deciding on an application by Becbay, a joint venture between the DDDA and two property developers, to declare the former Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend, ‘‘clean’’ and ready for development.

The DDDA is a 26 per cent partner in Becbay, alongside developers Bernard McNamara and Derek Quinlan. They paid €412 million for the 25acre site in 2006. According to the DDDA’s 2007 annual report, it loaned the joint venture company almost €40 million that year to fund the cleaning up of the site.

Minutes of DDDA board meetings from last year, seen by The Sunday Business Post, show that the state agency has also made further loans to the joint venture firm. A DDDA spokeswoman refused to divulge the amounts, saying it was ‘‘commercially sensitive information.” She refused to comment any further.

However, a former EPA inspector has objected to Becbay’s application to have the site declared clean and alleges that significant environmental hazards remain on the site.

If the EPA agrees with his assessment, it will mean that the site cannot be developed at present. That would massively reduce the value of the site, which has already fallen significantly because of the collapse in the property market.

Such a move would undermine the finances of the DDDA. Its last published accounts show that it held net assets of €177 million.

However, informed sources say that its accounts for 2008 - which have been delayed since June, but are expected to be published next month - will show huge write-downs.

Much of the financing for the Ringsend project was provided by Anglo Irish Bank.

Anglo directors Sean FitzPatrick and Lar Bradshaw were both previously directors of the DDDA, although they resigned their positions earlier this year.

Sunday Business Post

Anonymous said...

Led by the local parish pump's "governance expert" DDDA is cooking the 2008 and 2009 books.

Fine Gael accuses docklands body of covering up losses

STEPHEN COLLINS, Political Editor

Fri, Sep 11, 2009

A PUBLIC body that has exposed the taxpayer to potentially huge liabilities has been accused of trying to cover up its losses on property by failing to publish annual accounts.

Fine Gael environment spokesman Phil Hogan said new information released to him by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) confirmed the agency had not yet filed its annual accounts, which were due in June.

Mr Hogan called on Green Party leader and Minister for the Environment John Gormley to authorise the Comptroller and Auditor General to investigate the authority’s financial and property dealings.

Mr Hogan said correspondence between him and the authority’s chair, Prof Niamh Brennan, had established that its accounts had not been filed along with its annual report for 2008 which was presented to Mr Gormley in June.

“The reason offered to explain this situation was that the DDDA is waiting on the publication of the Nama valuation methodology before it proceeds with concluding its accounts.

“The failure to submit annual accounts with an annual report is highly irregular and raises serious questions about the financial standing and robustness of the DDDA on foot of a series of high-profile property deals it became embroiled in over the last five years or so,” Mr Hogan said yesterday.

He added that the correspondence showed that the departure of the authority’s chief executive during the summer had been a result of the board deciding “not to offer a further contract of employment” a year before the contract was due to expire.

“This suggests that the previous CEO was sacked rather than retired early,” said Mr Hogan.

He added that there had been a lot of public comment about the authority’s property dealings and its exceptionally close relationship with Anglo Irish Bank but the revelation that it had not submitted annual accounts with its annual report was alarming.

“I am going to invite the chairman and senior executives of the DDDA to attend a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on the Environment to answer questions relating to the financial and property dealings of the authority. Given the new chairman’s recent public comments on the importance of high standards and transparency in public life, I am sure she will welcome the opportunity to discuss these matters,” said Mr Hogan.

“The notion of public bodies waiting for the highly contentious Nama valuation model to be published so that they can cook their books raises a whole new set of problems. Rather than using the standard market value methodology, as has been the practice, Government agencies and authorities can now fiddle the figures in their accounts and misrepresent the impact of any or all property-related activities they have been engaged in,” he said.

Mr Hogan added that this approach could lead to the public being duped by officials trying to cover up losses made on property developments and it would allow wrongdoing to go unchecked.

© 2009 The Irish Times