Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher is calling for the report of the Interim Administrator to the Central Remedial Clinic to be sent to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the Revenue Commissioners. The report concluded that the charity wing of the CRC, known as “The Friends and Supporters of the CRC” was set up solely to hide funds from the HSE. It also criticised the €740,000 retirement package awarded to its former CEO Paul Kiely and the administrator recommends that any money which was overpaid should be repaid or recovered.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “The practices within the CRC that emerged during the PAC hearings had a major impact across the charity sector. The public were left angry and appalled when the details of salary top ups and extortionate pension packages were revealed. The revelations concerning the CRC impacted on all charities over the Christmas period, with the vast majority reporting significant falls in donations as a direct result of the flawed regime at the CRC.
“The report points to an environment of deception within the organisation, which involved the establishment of a limited company to “maximise the HSE funding of CRC services – the inference drawn being that if the HSE had been aware of the level of funds available, it would have reduced its annual allocation to the CRC“. It’s quite clear action has to be taken and the report should be furnished to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement to establish whether any company law was broken. It should also be sent to Revenue to examine the tax implications of these practices and to ensure that this company is fully tax compliant.
“The findings of this report further highlight the need for the new Charities Regulator to be put on a statutory footing. Public confidence, which has been almost completely eradicated by scandal at the Central Remedial Clinic needs to be restored and people need to be assured that their money is going towards services, and not top ups or salaries. All charities in receipt of public money should know now what is expected of them in terms of transparency and accountability and they need to adhere to those procedures.
“We need to ensure that there is never a repeat of the practices that were seen in the CRC. This report should be sent to the ODCE and Revenue for them to decide whether any laws were broken, and what action needs to be taken. Lessons have to be learned from this controversy so that the charity sector can move out from under the shadow of this troubling episode.