Details of previous bonus payments to Rehab’s Kerins sought

Public Accounts Committee wants charity to disclose preceding payments to chief executive and others

 Angela Kerins, chief executive of Rehab:   she is to  attend a public hearing  of the Public Accounts Committee next week.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Angela Kerins, chief executive of Rehab: she is to attend a public hearing of the Public Accounts Committee next week. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Thu, Feb 20, 2014, 08:22

Rehab is facing demands from the Dáil Public Accounts Committee to disclose previous bonus payments to its chief executive Angela Kerins and any other members of its senior management. The committee was informed by Rehab yesterday that Ms Kerins will attend a public hearing next Thursday.

Ahead of that meeting, committee members said the group’s statement three days ago that Ms Kerins had voluntarily waived bonus entitlements for four years raised questions as to what bonuses she previously received.

“They issued this statement, which essentially as far as I’m concerned is just a holding statement,” said chairman John McGuinness of Fianna Fáil. “We would be asking for a look back over the last few years on not just Angela Kerins’ salary but of the senior executives’salaries as well . . . “That would include the bonuses for Angela Kerins and any others.”

He also said pension-related elements of pay “and the entitlement to company cars” would be explored. “You don’t get a true picture of a big organisation like that on limited figures for just one year. We also want to look at the corporate governance of the organ to see where the public money goes, how it’s accounted for and how it’s monitored.”

Rehab’s board gave in on Monday to political pressure to reveal Ms Kerins’s remuneration. The figures showed her salary has risen to €240,000 from €234,000 in 2011. She also receives company car benefits worth €18,000 and €14,400 in pension contributions.

Asked whether Rehab would release details about previous payments to Ms Kerins, the group’s spokesman indicated the committee had not raised this in correspondence. The spokesman said its focus was on Rehab’s expenditure of funds received from the HSE, training agency Solas and the Charitable Lotteries Scheme.

“We haven’t been asked for anything other than public expenditures under the three headings we’ve just discussed,” the spokesman added. “That’s what the agenda is that we’ve been furnished with. Nothing more, nothing less. I presume if they want to change the agenda or add items to the agenda, they will let us know in advance.”

However, members of the Public Accounts Committee said more information would be required. “To benchmark her current salary and other arrangements, we must have the information relating to her previous packages,” said Ged Nash (Labour).

“There is little point in discussing current salary and bonus arrangements if Rehab seeks to in some way to restrict the level and nature of information they are prepared to discuss.”

The committee’s deputy chairman, Kieran O’Donnell (Fine Gael), said Rehab’s board should explain how it found Ms Kerins’ remuneration to be “competitive and fair”. He added that the group should also explain the conclusion of pay consultants that her pay was “significantly below” the midpoint of the market.

“They need to provide documentary evidence as to the basis for arriving at both of those conclusions and for the level of remuneration they’re paying the CEO,” Mr O’Donnell said.

“In terms of the work of the committee, I hope that the CEO of Rehab would work with the PAC and ensure that there is full transparency in respect of the remuneration package, including bonuses paid, over a number of years. We’re looking for them to disclose in respect of senior staff as well.”