How we broke story of salary top-ups
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has said that he only found out about the privately funded allowances to well-paid hospital and health agency chiefs this week, but the matter was first exposed by the Irish Independent last year.
The practice of private top-up payments to health managers was highlighted as far back as March 2012 – despite claims by some politicians that they only became aware of them recently.
Department of Health emails obtained under Freedom of Information legislation showed suspicion about the extra payments by disability organisations.
Although the agencies were not named, the memo criticised the lack of transparency over how much chief executives were being paid.
It pointed out that while the organisations said the salaries were in line with comparative public service pay scales "we know that they are most likely topped up from other funds".
It said: "We are finding agencies generally are not particularly transparent about owning up to the source of funding for their chief executive salaries or are stating that they are in line with the consolidated scales (approximately €150,000 per annum), where we know that they are most likely topped up from other funds."
Concern about the lack of co-operation on executive packages emerged as part of an overall value-for-money review.
Health Minister Dr James Reilly wrote to the chairmen of a number of disability groups, seeking information on their chief executives' remuneration.
A HSE audit was later carried out and completed in March this year – but was not acted on until September, following a Department of Heath circular on the matter.