Central Remedial Clinic used charity money to top up senior staff salaries

Company linked to disability group had €14 million in funds during cuts to services

 

The Central Remedial Clinic has admitted using charitable funds to top up the salaries of senior staff members.

In a statement today, the Dublin-based clinic confirmed that money was collected by a company linked to the organisation and used to pay top-up allowances to senior staff.

An internal HSE audit completed last year found that almost €250,000 in allowances was being paid annually to six senior staff members, in addition to their State-funded salaries.

For example, its then chief executive was on a publicly funded salary of €106,900.

This was supplemented with funds from the clinic totalling €136,000. This resulted in a total pay package of more than €240,000

These unauthorised allowances are a breach of public sector pay policy.

The Friends and Supporters of the Remedial Clinic, a separate company linked to the clinic, generates funds from a lottery administered by the Care Trust.

Latest figures show this company had a total of €14 million in funds at the end of 2011, at a time when the clinic has been accused of cutting services to vulnerable children and adults. The lottery generates about €2million a year, records indicate. It did not receive any National Lottery funding.

In a statement, the clinic - which is a national centre for the care of children and adults with physical disabilities - said the Friends and Supporters organisation enabled the clinic to fund a large number of capital projects.

It said these have included the development of CRC Waterford - which it described as a large state of the art centre which provides services to children with physical disabilities in the South East region, - at a cost of €2 million

Funds were also used for renovation projects at CRC Clontarf, at a cost in excess of €7 million, since 2004, it said.

It added that the money also helped the development of CRC Limerick, a clinic which provides a range of specialised services for the mid-west region.

The clinic also responded to details regarding salaries at the organisation and said that since 2009, the clinic has had an agreed position with the HSE to phase out the level of management salaries for nine individuals who were being paid over and above public pay scales.

“It was agreed at the time that as these positions became available through retirement or vacancy, new staff would be engaged on compliant salaries,” it said.

At present, five of these posts remain following retirement and vacancy and two of these posts are due to retire in the next two years, it said.

In line with this agreement, it said the salary of the Central Remedial Clinic’s current chief executive, Brian Conlan, is fully compliant.