independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Former CRC CEO will retire on pension of €110k, he tells Oireachtas committee

Paul Kiely said his salary will be based on higher salary of €223k, not on HSE approved €106k

The Central Remedial Clinic: Inset: Paul Kiely, recently retired Chief Executive of the Central Remedial Clinic
The Central Remedial Clinic: Inset: Paul Kiely, recently retired Chief Executive of the Central Remedial Clinic

Former CEO at the Central Remedial Clinic, Mr Paul Kiely, has told a stormy session of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that he will receive an annual pension worth up to half of his €223,000 salary.

Mr Kiely confirmed that his pension will be based not on the basic HSE salary figure, but on the higher overall figure of €223,000, which will mean he will get a pension of roughly €110,000 a year, the committee heard.

The session heard that Mr Kiely was paid a total salary package of €242,000, made up of the basic salary plus an allowance of €19,000. It emerged at the committee that all of the salary above the HSE approved level of €106,000 was paid out of the CRC's own resources.

Bosses at the Central Remedial Clinic have told the Public Accounts Committee that the Health Service Executive knew about controversial salary "top-ups" back in 2009.

They also confirmed that the salary package paid to Mr Kiely's successor, Mr Brian Conlan, in excess of the HSE's stated preferred salary level. The HSE said the salary paid was "irregular."

It emerged at the committee this morning that Mr Paul Kiely, the former CRC Chief Executive who was paid salary top-ups totalling €136,000 on top of a HSE approved salary of €106,000.

In relation to Mr Kiely's pension, Independent TD and PAC member Shane Ross, said that was a "staggering" relevation. Mr Kiely confirmed that a €3 million loan from the fundraising arm of the CRC, was used to pay for his and other staff pensions.

The committee heard that Mr Kiely and Mr Nugent sat as directors both of the clinic and of the fundraising arm - known as the Friends and Supporters of the CRC. Mr Ross told the committee that this represented a conflict of interest.

"It is clear the Friends and Supporters have been stuffed...to fill Mr Kiely's pockets and others," he said.

During heated exchanges between the CRC bosses and Mr Ross, Mr Kiely said he took issue with the use of the word "top-up," saying he was paid his agreed salary package of €242,000 a year.

Mr Jim Nugent, chairman of the board of CRC told the committee that the clinic had a meeting on June 25 2009 with the HSE in which it said that because of contractual obligations, it said it would pay the balance of salaries to nine executives out of its own resources.

Mr David Martin of the CRC said that as a private company it was legally obliged to pay the rates of pay agreed, describing them as legacy issues. He said a number of those 9 executives were due to retire and that all incoming personnel would be hired on a salary scale agreed with the HSE.

PAC chairman John McGuinness expressed his frustration that Mr Conlan, who retired as CEO of the CRC had failed to attend the meeting. "We can't compel him to appear", Mr Nugent said. Mr McGuinness responded sharply: "We can".

The hearing continues.

By DANIEL MCCONNELL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

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