CRC board members discussed paying top-up to new chief

HSE says up to new CRC board to decide on whether to seek Kiely to repay money

The HSE has said it is a matter for the new board of the CRC to decide on whether to seek the repayment of money paid to Mr Kiely and other executives

The HSE has said it is a matter for the new board of the CRC to decide on whether to seek the repayment of money paid to Mr Kiely and other executives

Sat, Jun 21, 2014, 01:00

Senior members of the board of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) discussed last year how they could continue to pay a salary higher than the Health Service Executive’s official rate to the new chief executive to replace Paul Kiely.

The board had given a commitment to the HSE in November 2009 that when management posts fell to be replaced, the salary would be agreed with the health authority.

By early 2013, Mr Kiely had indicated he wanted to leave the organisation. By that stage HSE auditors and the media were seeking details of his remuneration levels, which were over €234,000.

Excessive rate

An email, published for the first time as an appendix to the report of the CRC’s interim administrator, shows members of the former board of the clinic discussed how they could get HSE assent to pay a salary to the incoming chief executive above the official rate.

The email sent on April 11th, 2013, by Hamilton Goulding to Mr Kiely, Brian Conlan and Jim Nugent said he would need to make initial contact with the HSE about recruiting a new chief executive. He sought advice on how the CRC should deal with the HSE.

“The question I am considering is whether it is best to send a letter fully explaining the issue . . . and our justification for what we are doing and try to deal with the whole matter by correspondence, or . . . to simply request a meeting . . . The first thing is to inform them that recruitment is taking place, that we have committed contractually to a process for implementing it and that we will be controlling it as we are entitled to do.”

CRC plan

Mr Goulding said one of the essential matters the CRC needed the HSE to agree was that it could “by use of our independent funding, augment the salary above their standard rate”.

He said the CRC would argue it was becoming more in line with HSE pay policy than before.

He said it was unrealistic to appoint a chief executive at a rate significantly lower than other senior management personnel in the organisation.

Meanwhile, the HSE has said it is a matter for the new board of the CRC to decide on whether to seek the repayment of money paid to Mr Kiely and other executives.

On Thursday, Minister for Health James Reilly said: “In regard to payments made to former senior figures, if calculations have been incorrect it is reasonable for the taxpayer and the charity to seek a return of the money.”