Remuneration committee was in 'limbo' for over a year

Con Lucey: Recommended IFA set up a pay committee
Con Lucey: Recommended IFA set up a pay committee

Louise Hogan and Darragh McCullough

One of the key recommendations made by the IFA's chief economist Con Lucey has been left in limbo for over a year.

Earlier this month the national council approved the setting up of a remuneration committee to oversee the pay of the general secretary and the president of the body. However, Mr Lucey had first recommended it be set up in August 2014 as he resigned from the audit committee citing "unacceptable interference" from Pat Smith and a lack of operational independence.

He called for the remuneration body - which would not include the president or general secretary.

It took until earlier this month for the committee to be put before the national council - several months after the Irish Independent first revealed who would sit on it.

The treasurer Jer Bergin was appointed the chair, former Glanbia chief executive John Moloney was also appointed, in addition to president Eddie Downey. The IFA has stated that Mr Downey would not be involved in the negotiations on his pay.

The IFA treasurer Mr Bergin had refused to sign off on the bonus for Mr Smith for 2014 and 2015 until the new independent remuneration committee had been set up as per the recommendation of Mr Lucey.

The deputy president Tim O'Leary said they have been working behind the scenes on the remuneration committee, and it was approved. However, he said they did regret that they didn't "drive it on stronger".

He said the committee would now examine senior level pay within the IFA.

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Concerns over top-level pay and transparency were first raised by Mr Lucey when he stepped down in August 2014.

In the hard-hitting resignation letters that he sent to Mr Downey, and also to Mr O'Leary and Jer Bergin, among others, Mr Lucey had argued that the pay of key management personnel - such as the general secretary and president - should be set out with accountancy procedures.

Irish Independent

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