Sunday 17 December 2017

Rehab's Angela Kerins 'gave incomplete evidence at Public Accounts Committee'

Failed to fully disclose husband's shares in a firm linked to Rehab

Rehab Chief Executive Angela Kerins ariving to give evidence at the PAC last month
Rehab Chief Executive Angela Kerins ariving to give evidence at the PAC last month

Daniel McConnell, Political Correspondent

Rehab Chief Executive Angela Kerins has been accused of giving incomplete evidence last week to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), over failing to fully disclose shareholdings held by her husband.

Following a private session this morning with its legal advisor, the committee is seeking 12 points of further clarity from Rehab, including information about salary levels to senior executives, which it wants before next Thursday.

Last week, the HSE provided the committee with details of salary levels to some senior members of staff at Rehab, but because of data protection issues, those details have yet to be made public.

Questions have been raised as to whether it was appropriate for the HSE to provide the salary information, because of those data protection matters, and further advice on the mater has been sought. The committee will retain the file pending that advice.

Included in the list of 12 items the committee is seeking clarity from Rehab are: the extent of consultancy work conducted by former Rehab CEO and Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery; details of his pension payments; details of remuneration levels paid to all senior staff as well as a note on the payment of bonuses to Ms Kerins.

Ms Kerins was also singled out for criticism by committee member Ms McDonald for not fully disclosing details of shareholdings held by her husband, Sean Kerins, in a Rehab linked company, Complete Eco Solutions Ltd.

Business interactions between Rehab and Complete Eco Solutions were also the subject of discussions at the committee today.  Chairman John McGuinness said he has received correspondence in relation to the company, which he said merits further investigation.

This follows disquiet over Rehab’s initial refusal to disclose Ms Kerin’s remuneration of €240,000 a year amid heightened political scrutiny of the charities sector in general.

Last Thursday , Ms Kerins attributed Seán Kerins’s resignation as director to the firm’s “pilot” work with Rehab on a coffin venture.  However, she never mentioned his ownership of 50 of the 150 shares in the business.

“My husband was a director of Eco Solutions Limited, but once this activity started, he stood down.”

Ms Kerins’s brother Joseph McCarthy is also director and one-third shareholder of Complete Eco Solutions and Ms Kerins’s predecessor and Mr Flannery is a director and one-third shareholder.  

Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald also asked for clarity on the use of helicopters by Ms Kerins and other senior Rehab executives.

Committee members including Simon Harris said it was not believable that Mr Flannery and members of the remuneration committee were not aware of the requests for them  to appear before the committee.  

"There is no way in hell they wouldn't have known they were required. Had they seen a daily newspaper, they would have known perfectly well they were wanted.

Their failure to appear was quite offensive to the committee," Mr Harris said. The committee agreed to re-issue the invites to Mr Flannery and members of the Rehab remuneration committee to appear before it. Last weekend, Mr Flannery said he would not be wiling to appear before the PAC.

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