Phil Hogan wants review of rural quangos as €11m in funding goes on pay
Environment Minister Phil Hogan will conduct a root-and-branch review of the country's 'rural quangos' after it emerged that, in some cases, up to one-third of their public funding is being spent on salaries and administration.
The Irish Independent today details the massive sums that are being used to pay staff costs at 50 non-profit local development companies (LDCs).
These organisations received over €50m in State funding last year in order to assist small businesses and community groups in the form of grants.
The bodies are fully taxpayer-funded and are tasked with helping businesses and community groups to grow and carry out initiatives. They also adminster EU-funded LEADER programme grants.
But new figures reveal that more than €11m handed to these companies is being spent on salaries and administration.
Eleven CEOs of the non-profit companies are earning in excess of €92,000, the salary of an average TD.
One CEO, Mary Walsh of the Carlow County Development Ltd, has been set a salary of just over €102,000, according to the department and state agency Pobal.
Ms Walsh was "unavailable for comment" when contacted by the Irish Independent.
CEO of Louth Leader Partnership Mary-Ann McGlynn, who earns €95,000, said that her salary was fully complaint with the department's rules.
"Louth Leader Partnership is one of the local development companies delivering a broad range of programmes in collaboration with the Department of Community, Environment and Local Government. Our board structures and salary guidelines are set within the department's guidelines and we are fully compliant with all their requirements," she said.
More than 20 other CEOs are earning in excess of €80,000, according to department figures.
The figures detailed today come as Mr Hogan plans to carry out a full review of Ireland's 50 local development companies. The bodies were identified as local government quangos in Colm McCarthy's An Bord Snip Nua report.
Mr Hogan now wants to align these companies with local authorities – a move that is being opposed by the representative body, the Irish Local Development Network.
A spokeswoman said: "The ILDN have always supported better value for money and Local Development Companies (LDCs) have dealt with increasingly restricted budgets while dealing with higher demand for their services.
"LDCs have and continue to work within the administration caps set by the department.
"Our concern is that the community-led, local development approach we take to community development will be lost as a result of an over-centralised decision making mechanism."
While ministers have recognised the good work done by the companies, it is felt that bringing their finances under the control of local authorities will lead to better efficiency.
One senior government source said: "This is all about achieving greater efficiency. These companies undeniably do great work but the taxpayer demands value for money and that has to be delivered."
In a statement to the Irish Independent, the Department of the Environment said that local development community committees would now be rolled out across the country in a bid to increase efficiency.
"At the heart of this change is the desire to achieve better for value for money and to ensure that the maximum amount of funding is spent on community projects and not wasted on unnecessary duplication and administrative costs.
"Under the current arrangements in some cases up to 30pc can be spent on administration. This is not acceptable."
Official salaries of the bosses of Local Development Companies according to the Department of the Environment.
All salaries are compliant with Department guidelines and do not include pension entitlements.
|Carlow County Development Ltd Mary Walsh||€102,000|
|Monaghan Integrated Development Ltd Gabriel O’Connell||€98,370|
|Meath Community Rural Social Development Partnership Co Michael Ludlow||€98,000|
|Louth Partnership Mary Ann McGlynn||€95,419|
|Wexford Local Development Co Brian Kehoe||€94,550|
|Waterford Leader Partnership Ltd Jimmy Taaffe||€94,550|
|West Cork Development Partnership Ltd Ian Dempsey||€94,550|
|Bray Area Partnership Ltd Peter Brennan||€94,550|
|Cill Dara Ar Aghaidh Teoranta Justin Larkin||€94,550|
|Donegal Local Development Co Caoimhin Mc Aoidh||€94,550|
|Galway City Partnership Declan Brassil||94,550|
|IRD Duhallow Ltd Maura Walsh||€93, 926|
|Ballyhoura Development Ltd Carmel Fox||€91,713|
|Roscommon Partnership Martina Earley||€90,701|
|Tolka Area Partnership Ltd Michael Bowe||€89,822|
|South and East Cork Area Development Partnership Ltd Ryan Howard||€89,821|
|Waterford Area Partnership Joe Stokes||€88, 957|
|Westmeath Community Development Joe Potter||€88,877|
|Northside Partnership Ltd Marian Vickers||€87,595|
|South Dublin County Partnership Ltd (formerly CPLN and Dodder Valley) Anna Lee||€87,595|
|Southside Partnership DLR Ltd Cormac Shaw||€87,595|
|Laois Community and Enterprise Anne Goodwin||€86,864|
|Breffni Integrated Ltd Brendan Reilly||€85,444|
|PAUL Partnership Anne Kavanagh||€85,095|
|Avondhu/Blackwater Parnership Valerie Murphy||€84,591|
|Mayo North East Justin Sammon (Acting CEO)||€84,550|
|The Ballyfermot Partnership Ltd Ciaran Reid||€84,414|
|West Limerick Resources Ltd Shay Riordan||€84,225|
|County Wicklow Community Partnership Frank d’Arcy||€84,225|
|Clare LCDP Doirin Graham||€84,225|
|Galway Rural LCDP Delia Colahan||€81,592|
|Blanchardstown Area Partnership Ltd Linda Curran||€81,281|
|Inishowen Development Partnership Shauna McClenaghan||€80,678|
|Canal Communities, Bluebell, Inchicore Brian Kenny||€80,417|
|Offaly Integrated Local Development Brendan O'Loughlin||€80,090|
|South West Mayo LCDP Gerry O'Neill||€79,433|
|South Kerry Development Partnership Noel Spillane||€77,483|
|County Kilkenny Leader Declan Rice||€77,005|
|North and East Kerry Leader Partnership Eamonn O'Reilly||€75,932|
|Longford Community Resources Adrian Greene||€74,890|
|North Tipperary Leader Partnership Michael Murray||€74,870|
|Cork City Partnership Brenda Cahill||€74,870|
|South Tipperary Local Development Co Niall Morrissey||€74,870|
|County Sligo Leader Partnership Co Ltd Chris Gonley||€72,235|
|Rathmines Pembroke Community Partnership Ltd Tara Smith||€71,021|
|Forum(Connemara) John Coyne||€68,800|
|Ballymun Partnership Ltd Fiona Descoteaux||€65,884|
|Fingal Leader Partnership Co Ltd Pauline McNamee||€61,912|
|Leitrim Integrated Donal Fox||€61,209|
|Comhar na nOilean Majella Ni Chriochain||€48,000|