Rehab’s promises of candour to face early test at PAC encounter

Analysis: questions surround Kerins remuneration and Flannery pension

Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 01:00

After months of controversy and delay, Rehab chairman Brian Kerr and his board colleagues have pledged to “candidly” confront the many issues faced by the group. This promise will face an early test tomorrow when Rehab comes before the Oireachtas Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) for the second time in less than two months.

We still do not know whether former chief executive Angela Kerins and her predecessor Frank Flannery will turn up.While that question reflects the political drama, the fact remains Kerins and Flannery are no longer with Rehab.


Restore standing
It still falls to the Rehab board, on whose watch the group lost control of the affair, to restore the standing and credibility of the organisation. But can they? We shall soon see.

Kerr stated the obvious when he acknowledged there had been serious damage to Rehab’s reputation.

He has acknowledged major failings at board level in its inadequate response to questions about its internal affairs. He also accepted the board had not exercised “strict and appropriate oversight” of issues that have come to public attention.

Questions surround Kerins’s remuneration, Flannery’s pension and Rehab’s dealings with a company owned by Kerins’s husband, her brother and Flannery.


Deficiencies
At issue immediately is whether Kerr can begin to redress these deficiencies when he and other management and board figures appear before the PAC. Their answers may determine whether the board itself can stay in place.

This will be the measure of his declaration that Rehab wants to restore full confidence in the group urgently.

The board has engaged management consultant Dr Eddie Molloy to carry out a fundamental review of Rehab’s structures.

One of the prime tasks he has been set is to examine what changes should be initiated “to renew the board and the way it works”, so it can provide the quality of oversight required.

Although the board remains in place for now, Kerr has said Rehab is committed to making whatever changes are necessary including changes to the board.

It all serves to raise the stakes at tomorrow’s hearing.

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