Fianna Fáil Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Sean Fleming TD has expressed concern about the reported refusal of Mr Frank Flannery to co-operate with the Public Accounts Committee and said that such a position was completely incompatible with Mr Flannery’s role as Government-appointed Chairman of the Forum on Philanthropy.
Deputy Fleming commented, “The Public Accounts Committee is currently working to try to get to the bottom of executive remuneration in Rehab. As a former Chief Executive of the organisation, a current board member and, as we have recently learned, a retained lobbying consultant to Rehab, Mr Flannery’s personal experience is an essential perspective for the Committee’s work.
“The idea that he would not be available for questioning by the Committee and that we would have to consider compelling him as a witness is simply unacceptable. Mr Flannery was appointed Chairman of the high profile Forum on Philanthropy by Minister Phil Hogan. This is a body looking at important issues such as the rules around residency and the tax status of some of the country’s wealthiest individuals. The prospect of a Government appointed Chairman of that body refusing to co-operate with an Oireachtas committee is completely untenable.
“Mr Flannery should confirm today that he will be appearing before the Committee at the earliest opportunities to answer questions at the Public Accounts Committee. Failing that, I will be calling on the Government to make it absolutely clear that they agree with our analysis and that Mr Flannery’s refusal to engage on this issue is incompatible with his role as Chair of the Forum on Philanthropy.”