Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Saturday 25 March 2017

IFA appoint former Glanbia chief to pay review committee

But Association still refusing to disclose details of payments to top staff

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Pat Smith (right) pictured outside Leinster House with former IFA president John Bryan.
Pat Smith (right) pictured outside Leinster House with former IFA president John Bryan.

Former Glanbia managing director John Moloney has been appointed to the pay committee of the IFA as the association moves to address concerns about salary scales for its top staff.

The IFA, which has more than 88,000 members and is funded by a mixture of fees, factory levies and business interests, confirmed to the Farming Independent it has moved to strengthen the remuneration committee which reviews the performance and pay of general secretary Pat Smith.

However, the IFA is still refusing to disclose details of its senior executives salaries. It is understood that Mr Smith (right) receives a substantial six-figure salary package.

The appointment of Mr Moloney follows calls for transparency from former IFA chief economist Con Lucey who raised issues about accountability on salary scales when he stepped down from the IFA's audit committee last year.

In a controversial resignation letter, the veteran economist, called for an independent committee to set the pay and benefits package for the general secretary as well as the compensation package for IFA presidents.

He said changes to accountancy standards in Ireland put an onus on bodies such as the IFA to disclose details of the salaries paid to senior staff.

The IFA confirmed in the wake of Mr Lucey's resignation that an independent chair, Martin Lenehan, was appointed to its audit committee.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice called for details of these salaries and benefits to be made public.


"In every walk of life we know what people are being paid - no more than anyone else it should be printed," he said. "What are they afraid of? Farmers are paying their membership and they should know the pay. We know the public servant grades - it is there in black and white. All politicians wages are out there and rightly so."

Reviews

Mr Moloney has been appointed as the external independent member to the remuneration committee along with the Association deputy president Tim O'Leary. They join IFA president Eddie Downey - committee chairman - and national treasurer Jer Bergin.

"The remuneration committee reviews the terms and salary of the general secretary. The general secretary is responsible for the performance reviews of all other staff."

Mr Moloney also serves alongside Mr Smith and Mr Downey on the separate board of the publisher, Agricultural Trust, based in Dublin's Irish Farm Centre along with the IFA.

The IFA stated that Mr Moloney was not an IFA nominee to the board of the Trust. "His independence, experience and professionalism is well recognised," it stated.

Mr Moloney is a director with six companies and recently chaired the advisory group for the Government's FoodWise 2025 agri-blueprint.

He said he had agreed to join the IFA remuneration committee as an independent voice and there was "no conflict of interest". "If you are on any board you may also end up on a committee reviewing the pay of the chief executive," he said, pointing out the "two companies are not related".

Indo Farming