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RTÉ controversy

RTÉ spends nearly €500,000 on reviews into Ryan Tubridy's salary and Toy Show the Musical

The PAC received a large volume of documents from RTÉ today.

THREE REVIEWS INTO RTÉ’s finances by consultants Grant Thornton cost almost €500,000, new documents reveal. 

In response to a series of questions posed by members of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) RTÉ also confirmed that the top ten earners list will be published at the end of the month. 

Documents sent from the RTÉ to committee members today reveal that the estimated total cost of the reviews commissioned by RTÉ since the scandal surrounding Ryan Tubridy’s salary broke last summer.

The national broadcaster said that the first two reviews carried out by the company cost €86,779 and €287,800.

The initial Grant Thornton review found that Ryan Tubridy’s salary was under-reported by €120,000 between 2017-2019.

The second review by the auditor examined how it came to be that Tubridy’s salary was under-reported.

The third Grant Thornton review into the costs of the Toy Show The Musical Production cost €118,711.94 of invoices received to date, RTÉ confirmed.

The note to the committee members said the work is still ongoing and the costs are on a per hour basis so the broadcaster will receive the full charge after the third report has been completed.

In terms of the McCann Fitzgerald review, which is leading investigating two voluntary exit schemes it ran in recent years, RTÉ says the work is still ongoing, and again, as the costs are on a per hour basis, the full charge will only be known after the report has been completed.

Of the top 10 presenters as published for 2021, six are independent contractors, and four are employees, the documents reveal. Figures for 2022 have not yet been published.

RTÉ refused to give a breakdown of the roles at RTÉ for which a voluntary exit package was agreed.

The documents also reveal that 46 people are in receipt of allowances, which totals €500,000. Many, but not all, are on-air related. 

The amounts vary, with one employee listed as receiving two allowances totalling nearly €29,000. 

Late Late Show guests

Answering the question as to how many times RTÉ presenters or people working for, or paid by, RTÉ appeared on flagship shows in the last five years, RTÉ said The Tommy Tiernan Show has featured 237 guests across seven seasons of the show.

The list has 20 guests who have appeared on RTÉ shows in some capacity – this represents around 8% of its overall guests.

The Angela Scanlon – Ask Me Anything show has had 69 guests across all series to date, of which 10 were RTÉ presenters.

In terms of The Late Late Show – over the past five years – RTÉ records show that of over 300 guests, 17 of the top earning contractors appeared on the show over this time, along with two other top earning RTÉ staff members.

Register of gifts 

RTÉ has said it is currently in the process of setting up a gift register for staff and has already circulated outlined proposals.

Final sign off is expected this month and once approved, RTÉ will engage with the Compliance Unit of the Data Protection Commission to obtain their views on the data protection implications before they are commenced.

RTÉ said it does not believe that it can carry out the request to write to all employees asking them about gifts from 2017, stating that it would not be possible to compel a reply to such correspondence. 

There would also be very little confidence in the accuracy and substantiveness of the answers provided, it added.

Separately, the broadcaster has told the committee that RTÉ legal costs to date for appealing findings against the broadcaster regarding bogus self employment contracts at the station is €74,034.95.

The documents also reveal that RTÉ’s €1.2 million settlement to Revenue relates to 35 individuals. 

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