Tuesday 16 October 2018

Ex-civil servant appointed interim director

Michael Brennan Political Correspondent

A former senior civil servant with experience of dealing with political controversies has been appointed as the interim director general of FAS for a six-month period.

Eddie Sullivan, who is a former secretary general with the Department of Finance has previously been commissioned by the Government to report on the 2006 rape law controversy, medical card fees for doctors and data protection legislation.

He will replace former FAS director general Rody Molloy, who resigned last week in the wake of public outrage over the agency's spending on foreign travel.

The FAS Board said last night that it looked forward to working closely with Mr Sullivan in ensuring that FAS focused on fulfilling its mandate to support those seeking its services in order to help them deal with the issues presented by the changed economic climate.

It added that it was immediately putting in place a process to recruit a director general on a permanent basis.

Mr Sullivan carried out a report in 2006 after a sex offender known as 'Mr A' was freed by the High Court, prompting public outrage when other convicted prisoners began to challenge their sentences.

Controversy

His conclusions vindicated former Attorney General Rory Brady over the rape law controversy but blamed an official in his office for an administrative error.

He retired from his position as secretary general at the Department of Finance last year.

He was appointed to examine the fee structure for medical cards held by people aged 70 and over in the wake of the controversy over the abolition of the universal entitlement to them. The Government and the medical profession accepted his recommendation for a new fee structure.

Last month, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern named him as the chairman of a review to establish whether data protection legislation needs to be changed.

And this week, he was also named by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan as one of the members of the independent committee to oversee bank executives' pay.

Tanaiste Mary Coughlan, who approved Mr Sullivan's appointment by the FAS board yesterday, said the agency should concentrate on its core mission, given the employment and training challenges currently facing the country.

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