Sunday 11 December 2016

They're worth it?

Published 04/01/2012 | 05:00

• Having observed recurring and inexplicable instances of the Government pay cap being broken to facilitate the appointment last year of ministerial advisers with ambiguous job definitions, it is indeed alarming to read in the Irish Independent (January 3, 2012) that the pay cap of €200,000 may be broken to facilitate an appointment to the vacant post of Secretary General of the Department of Finance.

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Is it seriously being suggested that the next appointee to the post of Secretary General should be paid more than the Minister for Finance, the Taoiseach and those in comparable roles in other jurisdictions?

The British government seems to have no difficulty finding suitable candidates in the City of London, a location with a more expensive cost of living than Dublin, to administer the affairs of an economy that is substantially larger and more complex than our own to fill the role of Permanent Secretary of HM Treasury within a salary range of €200,000 to €215,000 per annum. The US government has a similar choice, on comparable terms, when it comes to appointing senior bureaucrats. Perhaps the Irish authorities are seeking candidates from sources that are beyond the State's capacity to remunerate and, if that is the case, there is a serious flaw in the recruitment process and in the judgment of those directing it.

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