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Former Tusla boss was paid €40k after leaving post last year

The figures were revealed in the agency’s annual accounts.

Gordon Jeyes
Gordon Jeyes
Image: Leon Farrell via Photocall Ireland

THE FORMER CHIEF executive of the Child and Family Agency Tusla was paid €41,000 for work by the agency after stepping down from his post in February of last year.

Gordon Jeyes exited the €176,000 post on 12 Feburary 2016 and he was succeeded by Fred McBride who assumed the role one day later on 13 February.

Now, new annual accounts for Tusla show that Mr Jeyes was paid €41,000 between February 12th and May 2016 as his “respective employment contract expired on 4 May”.

Last year, the agency paid five staff who earned between €100,000 and €110,000. One employee fell in the the €110,000 to €120,000 bracket and another in the €120,000 and €130,000 range.

Senior management personnel received €628,000 in pay last year.

Legal bill

The agency’s legal bill increased from €13.7m to €14.8m while the amount paid to guardian ad litems (GALs), or those appointed by courts to act as independent voices for children in childcare cases, last year decreased marginally from €8.18m to €8.15m.

In addition, the amount paid out by Tusla to lawyers representing GALs increased by 18% from €5.95m to €7m.

The accounts also disclose that Revenue has advised that GALs are not subject to VAT and as a result of a VAT refund is due on invoices concerning 2015 and 2014.

Debt recoupment

A note to the accounts states that Tusla has now recognised the debt that is due and the initiation of the recoupment of this debt commenced in the last quarter of 2016. The refunds cost the agency €1.58m in 2016.

The amount paid out in foster care allowances dipped marginally from €100m to €98m.

The CFA’s total spend for last year was €665m. This was made up of €239m in pay and pensions and €426m in non-pay. The agency recorded a small operating surplus for the year at €626,000.

In her report, CFA chairperson Norah Gibbons said that the CFA provides grant-aided funding to 986 separate agencies incorporating national organisations in receipt of in excess of €7m per annum.

She said: “Control weaknesses relating to the monitoring and oversight of agencies in receipt of exchequer funding have been identified as part of the audit of the financial statements in 2016.”

There are limited resources available to the Agency and it is not possible for it to provide complete assurance over all of the monies provided to all grant aided agencies. The Agency’s approach to enhancing governance and control has been to address the areas where it has identified potential risk.

She confirmed that in 2016, the Agency commissioned a programme of 15 internal audits as part of the internal audit plan for grant funded agencies.

In addition the Agency commenced a programme to audit the largest funded agencies and completed the internal audit on the largest grant funded agency in 2016.

The accounts have also identified payments totalling €4.5m made to 73 suppliers that were found to be in non-compliance of the agency’s own procurement rules.

In addition to the non-compliance identified, TUSLA the audit identified a further 3 historical contracts with total expenditure of €744,000 where supporting evidence could not be provided that the services were procured following a competitive process.

According to the annual accounts “the Agency’s review of these contracts identified that one, with payments totalling €221,000 related to a contract for agency staff which had initially been concluded with the HSE and has not, as yet, been tendered by the Agency”.

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