Revenue Commissioners to audit tax affairs of Irish Medical Organisation

Doctors’ union to ballot on industrial action over failure of HSE to reduce working hours

The finances of the IMO have been at the centre of controversy since The Irish Times reported last December that its former chief executive George McNeice had received a total package of nearly €10 million on his departure from the organisation. Photograph: Alan Betson

The finances of the IMO have been at the centre of controversy since The Irish Times reported last December that its former chief executive George McNeice had received a total package of nearly €10 million on his departure from the organisation. Photograph: Alan Betson

Mon, Jun 24, 2013, 01:00

The Revenue Commissioners are to undertake an audit of the tax affairs of the doctors’ trade union, the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO).

A spokesman for the IMO said last night that the organisation would be co-operating fully with the audit.

The spokesman for the IMO said the audit was “one of thousands which the Revenue carry out every year”.

The finances of the IMO have been at the centre of controversy since The Irish Times reported last December that its former chief executive George McNeice had received a total package of nearly €10 million on his departure from the organisation.

It later emerged that under the terms of his contract Mr McNeice could have been entitled to receive a package of nearly €25 million but the actual payout was reduced.

Private aircraft
There was further controversy over spending when it emerged that the IMO had chartered private aircraft on three trips undertaken by senior figures in the organisation to Australia and South Africa several years ago.

It also emerged in April that stipends paid by the IMO to its presidents over recent years were set at around 25 per cent of the salary of the chief executive.

However the IMO insisted that the past presidents were unaware that this was the manner in which their payment for their year in office was calculated.

Mr McNeice was paid €493,000 at the time of his departure last year.

The IMO is currently commissioning a retrospective review of how the organisation was run over recent years.

The current president of the IMO, Dr Matt Sadlier, has said he will not accept any financial stipend for his position pending the outcome of a new review of governance in the organisation.

Working hours
Meanwhile non-consultant hospital doctors who are members of the IMO are to ballot on industrial action over the failure by health service management to reduce their working hours in line with an EU directive.

The ballot for industrial action will take place in August.