Saturday 10 December 2016

Acting secretary general receives €30,000 boost in pay

Published 23/01/2016 | 02:30

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The official put in temporary charge of the Department of Justice has been given a €30,000 pay rise, even though Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has not appointed him to the role on a permanent basis.

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Noel Waters has been acting secretary general since October 2014, filling in after Brian Purcell stepped aside following a series of controversies.

The scandal-hit department has been unable to attract a new lead civil servant despite the hefty pay package of close to €180,000 on offer. According to Mr Waters, he was told he would have a caretaker role for no more than a few weeks.

However, six candidates for the job were rejected and Ms Fitzgerald is refusing to say when the role, one of the most important in Ireland's criminal justice system, will be re-advertised.

Mr Waters, previously director general of the Irish Nationalisation and Immigration Service (INIS), did not apply for the job but indicated he would consider doing so should the position be re-advertised.

Despite the supposedly temporary nature of his appointment, officials have now revealed he is being paid a €39,854 allowance.

This has bumped up his pay package to €176,350, the second highest level on the secretary general pay scale.

It is €30,717 more than his package at the INIS, where he had a basic salary of €136,496 plus an additional allowance of €9,137.

Meanwhile, the department has refused to say when it will permanently fill the crucial role.

In response to queries, a spokesman said the post will be advertised again "at an appropriate time".

He said this would be "when it is considered that any competition would be likely to yield a permanent appointment, taking into account the fact that the previous competition did not".

The delay in appointing a permanent secretary general is unprecedented.

In the past the department has never been without one for more than a few weeks.

Irish Independent

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