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Deaf charity Chief Executive spends money on luxury lifestyle

CEO indulges in Michelin star restaurants at charity expense

Thursday 13 July
Deaf charity Chief Executive spends money on luxury lifestyle

Editor - July 13 at 00:00

Credit cards used by the former chief executive and former finance chief at a HSE-funded charity for deaf people were used to pay for a €155 bottle of whiskey, gift vouchers, trips to a greyhound stadium and vouchers for a Michelin-starred restaurant. A former financial officer for the Catholic Institute for Deaf People was also paid more than €83,000 in untaxed bonus payments into an account he himself designated as his own “private pension account”.
The information is revealed in a HSE internal audit into the finances CIDP a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation providing enabling services to the deaf community. It provides HSE disability services at St Joseph’s Residence for Deaf Boys in Cabra, St Mary’s Residence for Deaf Girls in Cabra and St Joseph’s House for Adult Deaf and Deaf Blind People in Stillorgan. The audit dated December 22nd, 2016 found there were also inadequate controls over credit cards and their use, that gifts were given to staff members, alcohol was purchased with meals and tips were paid. There was also a “high level of dependency on consultants”, with over €400,000 paid out in 2015 alone. The former head of finance received a total of €83,100, being €53,100 in additional salary and €30,000 in performance bonuses in relation to his role in the NDVSLC Ltd, the National Deaf Village Sports and Leisure Company Ltd. Internal auditors said the finance head, who had “a significant amount of control” and was the highest paid member of staff, had an annual salary of €92,000 where the salary scale for his grade was €79,481.
A letter found by the auditors indicated his salary increased to €114,200 in 2013. He chose to take the increase as bonus payments, paid directly by CIDP into a bank account which he had designated as his private pension account. The amounts were not processed through payroll, were not taxed or subject to statutory levies and, accordingly, did not appear on his P60, the auditors said. The auditors said they encountered “difficulties” in determining the extent of the head of finance’s remuneration package due to inadequate records and the fact that the bonuses and salary increases were paid directly into his personal pension account at his request and were called employer contributions. The internal auditors said the categorisation of increases in salary as and bonus payments as employer pension contributions resulted in an understatement of the true remuneration level paid to the head of finance. His total salary in 2015, taking into account the bonus payments, was €154,380 and his remuneration between 2012 and 2015 amounted to €525,430. Auditors found that the salaries of the now former chief executive and former chief operating officer/head of finance were both more than €12,000 in excess of normal pay scales for their grade.
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