Sunday 4 December 2016

Professor paid €16k in three weeks before officially taking up Central Bank post

Former Governor Patrick Honohan was still in office at the time

Published 19/05/2016 | 02:30

Philip Lane, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. Pic Collins Photos
Philip Lane, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. Pic Collins Photos

Professor Philip Lane was being paid by the Central Bank for over three weeks before he officially took over as Governor, and while Patrick Honohan was still in office.

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Prof Lane, a former Trinity College academic, was announced as the new Governor of the Central Bank on October 20, and officially took up his post on November 26, the day after Prof Honohan retired.

From November 1, however, Prof Lane was given the title 'Governor Elect', and received a salary based on a Deputy Governor scale.

During this 25-day period he received gross payment of just under €16,000.

A spokeswoman for the Central Bank said Prof Lane's role at this time involved engaging with staff at both the Central Bank and the European Central Bank in order "to most effectively carry out the role of Governor from his start date on 26 November".

"This is common practice for such roles," the spokeswoman told the Irish Independent, without citing examples.

"Governor Lane was appointed to the Central Bank Commission in October 2015 by the Minister for Finance in order that he could fully discharge his responsibilities upon taking up the role on his start date."

Between November 1 and November 25, Prof Lane was paid a gross sum of €15,997. Then, between his first official day as Governor on November 26, and the end of the year, Prof Lane received a salary of €24,700. His annual salary is €254,048.

Prof Lane was not receiving a salary from Trinity College while he was being paid as Governor Elect.

"In keeping with the One Person One Salary principle, Governor Lane did not receive payment from Trinity College during this period," the spokeswoman added. "He remains affiliated with the university but does not draw a salary."

There was no similar handover when Prof Honohan took over from his predecessor, John Hurley, in 2009.

"There was no handover period per se. Mr Hurley's term of office finished on October 25, and Prof Honohan came in on October 26," the spokeswoman added.

"The difference in this one also is that the Minister appointed Philip Lane to the [Central Bank] Commission, a month before his start date.

"In order to be a member of the Commission and see the documents, he had to come in and work as a member of staff."

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