Rehab disclosure of salary not enough, says chair of Dáil group

Rehab chairman calls Kerins’s €272,000 package ‘competitive and fair’

An attempt by Rehab to defuse the controversy over its top-level pay polices is facing an immediate challenge from the Public Accounts Committee amid demands for more information from the group.

After weeks of controversy, Rehab's board decided, after a special meeting yesterday, to divulge the increased pay of its chief executive Angela Kerins.

Her remuneration package is worth some €272,400, comprising a €240,000 salary, an employer contribution of €14,400 into her defined contribution pension, and company car benefits to the tune of some €18,000.

Rehab also said it would declare the “total remuneration” of other top managers in its 2015 accounts, which won’t be published until 2016.

Pressing for disclosure
However, PAC members are pressing for disclosure when Rehab comes before the committee at a hearing to be scheduled within the next three weeks.

"That's something we would want as part of our hearing, the extent of the salaries. 2016 is too late for us. We'll be looking for this in the next few weeks," said PAC chairman John McGuinness, a Fianna Fáil TD.

Rehab’s spokesman said it would not be under legal obligation to disclose the information until new accounting rules come into force in 2015. He also said it was Ms Kerins’s pay which was the subject of Government demands for disclosure in recent weeks.

“We have responded to the request from the Taoiseach. Any other request will be considered on its merits.”

Competitiveness issues
The spokesman added, however, that issues arose around data protection and competitiveness issues vis-a-vis Rehab's commercial rivals.

Rehab, which received more than €82 million in State payments last year, is in conflict with Minister for Justice Alan Shatter over the Government's decision to scrap a public support scheme for charity lotteries.

The group is likely to face questions at the PAC over the low profit margins and low benefit to charity from its lottery products.

Mr McGuinness's call for speedy disclosure of the additional pay information was backed by Fine Gael PAC members Kieran O'Donnell and Eoghan Murphy, which points to consensus in the committee on this question.

“I’d be calling on them to publish before they are compelled to do so under the law,” said Mr O’Donnell.

'Competitive and fair'
Rehab chairman Brian Kerr said in a statement that the board was satisfied Ms Kerins's remuneration was set at a "competitive and fair" rate.

“In order to achieve our growth strategy and expand services to people who need them, a remuneration policy to attract and retain qualified and talented employees is vital, and the CEO role is no exception.”

Rehab last disclosed Ms Kerins’s pay in 2011, when her salary was €234,000. Rehab’s contribution to her pension scheme is set at 6 per cent of pay and she also makes personal contributions to the scheme.