independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Clock ticks on how long Kerins can dodge question

ANGELA KERINS CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL DISABILITY AUTHORITY.
Angela Kerins, CEO of Rehab

THE clock is ticking on Angela Kerins being able to continue to decline to talk about her salary. Rehab is heading towards a showdown with an Oireachtas committee on several fronts in the near future.

TDs are on a roll with the hauling in of executives in the semi-state and charity sector and subjecting them to questioning.

The courtroom-style drama is becoming compelling viewing. Ms Kerins, the Rehab chief executive, and the Rehab Group board would be well advised to head off such exposure at the pass.

The chairman of the Rehab Group, Brian Kerr, last night condemned the "unfair pressure" placed on Ms Kerins's family due to the public debate over her salary.

There's a pretty simple solution: publish the salary.

Rehab is dragging its feet.

"The remuneration of the CEO is a matter for the Rehab Group board and since our last voluntary disclosure of her salary in April 2011 we have received no formal request from any relevant authority to do so again," Mr Kerr said.

Clearly Rehab doesn't regard the public support of people who donate to their organisation as a "relevant authority".

The board isn't exactly showing a lot of urgency.

Mr Kerr said he intends to convene a special board meeting of the Rehab Group to discuss whether to disclose her salary again.

But this meeting won't take place until February 17.

In the intervening three-and-a-half weeks, Rehab can expect the question to linger over its reputation. Cranking up the pressure on her, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore have both publicly called for Ms Kerins salary to be disclosed.

It's over a fortnight since Ms Kerins declined to reveal her salary on RTE's 'Morning Ireland'. The programme's presenter, Gavin Jennings, was doing her a favour when he asked: "Is €234,000-a-year still your salary?"

Ms Kerins chose not to answer. She said Rehab was an organisation "with social values but commercially underpinned".

"The most important thing is that the remunerations of all senior staff are independently done by professional people, who know what they're doing and can evaluate it properly," she said.

The dodging of the question won't last much longer.

Irish Independent

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