IMO pay system 'completely incorrect'
The Irish Medical Organisation’s remuneration committee had no responsibility for the salary of former chief executive George McNeice, it emerged yesterday.
Organisation president Dr Paul McKeown said the committee had only to determine if Mr McNeice met certain performance points, adding that all salaries were bundled together in the accounts. “It was a completely incorrect way of doing things.’’
Mr McNeice retire d from his post before Christmas with a benefits package worth €9.7 million.
The organisation, which represents doctors, is to hold an extraordinary general meeting next month to consider resolutions dealing with the fallout from the controversy. Campaigners who forced the calling of the meeting are arguing that the motions they wanted considered would not be debated.
Dr McKeown said that Mr McNeice’s pension entitlements could have topped €25 million and they were negotiated down to a “still monumental sum of less than €10 million’’.
In an interview on the RTÉ radio programme This Week, Dr McKeown said there would be an audit review to determine what had happened regarding Mr McNeice’s pension entitlements and how the contract was drawn up in the first place. His salary had increased from €250,000 up to €493,000 with a multiplier bonus structure.
The formulation of the contract in 2003 was not clear but there was a stipulation that it would be defined-benefit, he said.
The decision to hold the extraordinary general meeting on March 23rd was made by the organisation’s council. Three resolutions are to be considered.
However, south Dublin GP Dr Cathal Ó Suilleabháin, who collected 120 signatures required under the organisation’s rules for the calling of the meeting, criticised the council’s decision.
He said that if the council’s motions were accepted, “then the old IMO remains firmly in control of any investigation of the financial and management affairs of the organisation over the past 12 years”. It seemed very obvious to him the old organisation did not want anyone else looking at the books.
The organisation said on Saturday that the meeting would consider resolutions to approve terms of reference for a comprehensive, independent review of all matters relating to Mr McNeice’s package.
The meeting would also seek to agree the membership of a governance review committee and interim management arrangements pending the appointment of a new chief executive.
Call for resignations
Motions proposed by Dr Ó Suilleabháin and his colleagues include the appointment of an interim chief executive with no previous connection to the organisation. They also want all remuneration committee members to resign immediately pending an external independent investigation. They are calling for an independent investigation of the organisation’s financial and management activities over the past 12 years.