PAC to convene over €2.5m Rehab payout

John McGuinness is to call a special meeting to discuss “very serious” issues

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness is to call a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss “very serious” issues

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness is to call a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss “very serious” issues

Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 10:40

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness is to call a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss “very serious” issues raised by disclosures that Rehab paid a board member more than €2.5 million for consultancy work.

Rehab, which supports people with disabilities, yesterday confirmed it paid John Hussey an average of €200,000 per annum from 1994 for management consultancy services over an 11-year period, and also paid €175,000 to terminate his contract in 2005.

Mr Hussey, a chartered accountant, was a board member of the Rehab Group, and several subsidiaries, for 10 years until December 2004.

Mr McGuinness said the disclosures were unsettling, following on from several appearances by senior Rehab figures at committee meetings.

“We were only told part of the story of consultancy fees by Rehab [at the PAC meeting last Thursday]. This part was left out,” said Mr McGuinness.

He said the committee would now explore the possibility of seeking to compel Mr Frank Flannery, and his successor as chief executive Angela Kerins, to appear. He said he would discuss the matter with PAC clerk Ted McEnery today.

Describing the consultancy payments as extraordinarily large, Mr McGuinness said the fees needed to be explained.

He said another issue centred on whether the consultancies involved public money.

Rehab said Mr Hussey had worked for the group “virtually full time” over that period. He had provided consultancy for disability support group reorganisation, corporate restructuring and strategic development during a time of rapid growth, especially in the UK.

Mr Hussey could not be reached for comment last night.