Saturday 25 October 2014

Ex-CRC boss Paul Kiely stays silent on €740,000 pension deal

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

Published 21/02/2014 | 02:30

Former CRC chief executive Paul Kiely
Former CRC chief executive Paul Kiely

THE former chief executive of the Central Remedial Clinic has failed to explain why he did not disclose his controversial €740,000 retirement package.

Paul Kiely was breaking his silence for the first time since details of the package caused shock and outrage when they were revealed by a HSE official last month.

Mr Kiely has written to the Dail's spending watchdog and indicated he was willing to reappear before the Public Accounts Committee.

He also used the letter to clarify one matter raised during his last appearance, in relation to payments made by the CRC to the Mater Hospital for the management of a staff pension fund.

However, the letter offered no explanation as to why he did not disclose the full extent of his retirement package.

An audit by the HSE revealed that Mr Kiely's payoff included €200,000 tax-free, plus €273,336 which was taxable and €268,689 paid to Mercer consultants to top up his pension fund as though he had worked until November 2016.

Mr Kiely had previously only admitted to a pension pot of €200,000. The money was secured from donations and paid out of accounts held by the Friends and Supporters of the CRC.

The controversy has badly damaged public confidence in the charity sector, which has seen a sharp decline in donations as a result.

Following last month's revelations, the PAC wrote to Mr Kiely requesting he return for further questioning.

Responding to the request, a letter on Mr Kiely's behalf from solicitors indicated he would comply.

Most of the three-page letter focuses on a €660,000 annual payment made by the CRC to the Mater Hospital to administer a CRC staff pension scheme.

The letter said Mr Kiely regretted not being clearer about this payment in his evidence to the committee last December.

"Had Mr Kiely been offered prior notice that the matter was to be reviewed by the committee, he would have been in a better position to comprehensively deal with the questions raised," the letter said.

"If by his responses Mr Kiely inadvertently caused any misunderstanding or confusion, he truly regrets doing so," the letter added.

LINKS

Although the Mater and the CRC both operate independently of each other, there are longstanding links between both organisations.

Meanwhile, Rehab Group has confirmed that it will attend a hearing of the committee next Thursday.

The committee said that it would be seeking details of independent reports which were commissioned by Rehab to decide on executive pay levels.

It will also request that chief executive Angela Kerins attend the hearing, along with former chief executive Frank Flannery and members of the board's remuneration committee.

Irish Independent

Read More

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News