Wednesday 7 December 2016

Banking report authors got different pay cheques

Published 16/02/2012 | 05:00

UK consultant Max Watson was paid 50pc more for his work on the famed Regling/Watson banking report than his German co-author Klaus Regling, the Irish Independent has learned.

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New figures show that the Government spent close to €100,000 on the 2010 duo's report, which exposed major financial regulation failings during the boom and also criticised the Government for failing to rein in bank lending.

Close to €60,000 of that money went to Mr Watson's firm John Howell, while another €38,287 went to Mr Regling's employer KR Economics, according to figures provided by Finance Minister Michael Noonan this week. A spokeswoman for the Department of Finance last night insisted that the different pay cheques reflected the fact that both men "worked a different number of days" over the February to June period when their report was compiled.

Both Mr Regling, who has gone on to head up Europe's EFSF bailout fund, and Mr Watson had the same "per day" rate, she added. She also confirmed that the figures included all expenses payable to the pair, suggesting the €100,000 was the report's full bill.

The figures were revealed in a response to a parliamentary question raised by Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty into the costs of consultants and other advisers that fell under the minister's remit over the past two years.

In his response, Mr Noonan also confirmed that the contract for the Regling/Watson report was never put out to tender and that the duo were instead appointed by his predecessor, the late Brian Lenihan.

A €12,908 contract to Dr Robert Hagemann for a report on the Fiscal Advisory Council was also not put out to tender because a "rapid turnaround was needed" and Dr Hagemann was "an expert in his field and known to have specific expertise", the minister said.

Several legal contracts were awarded by the Department of Finance on the advice of the Attorney General rather than through tendering, but the vast majority of the contracts described by the minister were openly tendered.

Public tendering is typically required for contracts with a value of more than €25,000, but the rule isn't imposed if there's a reasonable basis for making a direct appointment.

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