Rehab consistently falls short on transparency

It gets public funds from Dublin, London and Europe, but the exact amount the group gets is not disclosed in accounts

Rehab lottery tickets. Headquartered in Sandymount, Dublin, the group has operations in Ireland, England, Scotland and Poland and has recently announced a contract to supply training for disabled people in Saudi Arabia.

Rehab lottery tickets. Headquartered in Sandymount, Dublin, the group has operations in Ireland, England, Scotland and Poland and has recently announced a contract to supply training for disabled people in Saudi Arabia.

Thu, Jan 23, 2014, 01:01

The Rehab Group is a strange beast, successful in commercial and charitable terms, but with those two channels of its activities, arguably, creating some of the unease which exists about it. Despite its huge dependence on State support, it has consistently fallen short on transparency in its financial affairs.

Headquartered in Sandymount, Dublin, the group has operations in Ireland, England, Scotland and Poland and has recently announced a contract to supply training for disabled people in Saudi Arabia.

The latest filed accounts for the group, for 2012, give an indication as to the scope of its work. It is a not-for-profit that provides education, training, employment and social care to those experiencing “social and economic exclusion”, according to the accounts. It also engages in fundraising and commercial activities and lottery promotions, in support of these objectives.

In 2012 the group’s turnover was €183 million, and at the year’s end it had an accumulated surplus of €52 million. This is a measure of the extent to which its assets exceeded its liabilities. Approximately two-thirds of the group’s turnover was in the Republic, almost one-third in the UK and the remainder in Poland, in 2012. Training and employment activities accounted for €87.7 million of total turnover, or approximately half. Fundraising and lottery income was €13.4 million, and €4 million came from the Lotteries Fund. The group had an average of 3,410 employees during 2012, at a cost of €99.6 million.

It received public funds from the Dublin and London governments and from Europe, but the exact amount received is not disclosed in the accounts. Recent comments by Angela Kerins, chief executive of Rehab, on RTÉ, indicated that about 60 per cent of the group’s activities are commercial, as against State funded. It is believed to receive about €50 million in State funding a year.

In that same RTÉ interview Kerins, a long-term employee of the group who replaced Frank Flannery as chief executive after he resigned in 2006, having spent 25 years in the position, refused to disclose her salary. In 2011, the chairman of the group, Brian Kerr, responded to media speculation as to her remuneration package by saying her salary was €234,000. She has the use of a company car. Contributions to her pension and other aspects of her remuneration, if any, were not disclosed.

The members of the Rehab board are not paid. As Ms Kerins is not on the board, her salary and other aspects of her remuneration are not disclosed in the group’s annual accounts.

The Rehab Group produces consolidated accounts, meaning a single set of accounts that gives a record for the combined activities of the various businesses within the group. The individual companies within the group do not file publicly available accounts.

The many subsidiaries within the Rehab Group are listed in the Rehab accounts, but no details are given as to their profitability and their value. It is common for commercial groups to produce consolidated accounts within which the profits, or losses, of the group’s subsidiaries for the year in question are listed.

Yesterday, Mr Flannery said he expected that Rehab would disclose details of Ms Kerins income and said the organisation was “not impervious” to the concerns of the public.

Rehab is a 50 per cent shareholder of a fundraising charitable company called the Care Trust Ltd, the other half of which is owned by the Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic.

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