Flannery, Kerins will not attend PAC tomorrow

Former Rehab chief executives issue separate statements outlining their reasons for not appearing

Former Rehab chief executives Angela Kerins and Frank Flannery have told the Public Account Committee they will not be attending a hearing tomorrow on the affairs of the disability organisation.

Former Rehab chief executives Angela Kerins and Frank Flannery have told the Public Account Committee they will not be attending a hearing tomorrow on the affairs of the disability organisation.

Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 18:00

Former Rehab chief executives Angela Kerins and Frank Flannery have told the Public Account Committee they will not be attending a hearing tomorrow on the affairs of the disability organisation.

The hearing is the second in less than two months. Although Ms Kerins resigned last week and Mr Flannery resigned in March from Rehab’s board, PAC members have insisted that they still want to question them directly.

However, both Ms Kerins and Mr Flannery have separately told the committee today that they will not be attending.

“The committee received a letter from her solicitor today, saying she will not be attending due to ill-health and on medical advice,” said an Oireachtas spokesman.

Mr Flannery issued a statement this evening in which he said the agenda as set out left him with no alternative but to decline the invitation.

While the PAC said it wanted to examine public payments to Rehab from the HSE, the Department of Justice, training agency Solas and other Government bodies, Mr Flannery said he had no involvement, authority or knowledge of such matters as he had retired in 2006.

His statement came hours after PAC chairman John McGuinness said the committee still wished to address the question of salaries and pensions in the organisation.

However, Mr Flannery said in his statement that some committee did not seem to be taking the basic fundamental rights of private citizens into account .

“I am advised that certain members of the PAC, in their public utterances, have indicated that it is their intention to go far beyond their remit and this agenda and raise personal matters that are not relevant to the committee’s work,” he said.

“It is also my understanding that the PAC may have been advised that these private matters are outside their remit.”

The hearing is set to go ahead in any event as Rehab chairman Brian Kerr and other management and remuneration panel members have told the committee they will attend.

Having admitted serious failings in its response to the affair, the Rehab board has pledged to “candidly” confront the issues it faces. The group has appointed management consultant Dr Eddie Molloy to conduct a fundamental review of its structures and procedures .

In his statement today, Mr McGuinness said questions around the use of public funds and corporate governance were a cause of concern for the committee .

“To date, Rehab has not been open with the Committee on the issues around governance. Any information we received has had to be dragged out of the organisation and, in the appointment of Eddie Molloy, which was announced by the Rehab Board yesterday, there appears to be a recognition of the substantial change that is necessary,” Mr McGuinness said.

“Rehab describes itself as a not for profit organisation: it has the status of a charity and it has a commercial wing and the issues around governance and remuneration appear to be at odds with what an organisation of this nature should be about.

“That is why the Committee has sought details about salaries and pensions to address concerns which were raised at the salaries of the senior executive team and the fact that many were paid bonuses in 2012 at a time when the ordinary workers in Rehab appear to have been paid the market rate for carers and trainers and for delivering the wide range of vital services that are undertaken by subsidiaries of the Rehab group.”