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Tuesday 27 June 2017

Golden goodbye of €634,000 for man who brokered €1m FAS deal

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

A SENIOR civil servant who brokered disgraced Fas boss Rody Molloy's €1.1m golden handshake will retire this week with an exit package worth up to €634,000.

Secretary general at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Sean Gorman, will leave with the same controversial deal given to former top civil servant Dermot McCarthy, who retired with €713,000 last July.

And the Government could not clarify last night whether it will offer the same terms to his replacement -- although it promised to review the perks "shortly".

Secretaries general get an extra lump sum worth up to half a year's pay plus extra years of service that they have not actually worked to boost their pensions.

This is on top of a pension gratuity worth up to half a year's pay and their annual pension.

Mr Gorman, who is a former FAS board member, has 40 years' service and stands to walk away with an estimated €634,000 when he retires on Friday. This is because he is on a lower grade than Mr McCarthy, who was secretary general to the Department of the Taoiseach.

The fact that Mr Gorman is retiring before next February means his package is based on his wages before pay cuts that came into force last year.

He was in the spotlight four years ago when it emerged that he was instrumental in drawing up a lucrative payoff for former FAS chief Rody Molloy.

The Comptroller and Auditor General later found the deal cost taxpayers €900,000 more than it should have.

Perks

Mr Gorman did not mention the deal included an executive car when asked to detail the full contents of the package at the Public Accounts Committee.

Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on the Government to outline its plans to reform the special secretary general perks, known as Top Level Appointments Committee (TLAC) terms. Ministers have condemned the gold-plated scheme but the Government has already appointed four secretaries general on the same terms since coming to office.

It is understood that the closing date for applications for a replacement for Mr Gorman was the end of last month so the new contract is likely to include TLAC terms.

Vacancies for secretaries general are also expected to come up at the Department of Education and Department of Finance before February.

A Department of Public Expenditure and Reform spokeswoman said proposals on TLAC terms will be drawn up shortly but did not give a date for their implementation. "No replacement [for Mr Gorman] has yet been appointed," she said.

"The minister is currently reviewing TLAC terms and he will bring proposals on this issue to Government shortly.

"New appointees will be offered these revised terms."

Fianna Fail spokesman on Public Sector Reform Sean Fleming asked the Government to say when the review will be finished.

"Minister Howlin is saying they're doing the review but they are continually appointing people under the old regime," he said. "Until they give a date, it's only waffle."

Irish Independent

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