herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Council spent €323k on count staff for elections

Dublin City Council spent more than €300,000 on employing count centre staff at the RDS for the local elections in May.

The council employed 363 people to count the votes from the local elections on May 24 and 25 without undertaking any official recruitment process.

The count centre staff were paid a basic wage from 8.30am until 9pm on the Saturday and an overtime rate for hours after that and on the Sunday.

"The gross cost of employing the count staff was €323,415.34," stated DCC chief executive Owen Keegan.

Feasible

The CEO was replying to a question put to him by Independent councillor Mannix Flynn.

Mr Flynn asked for a full report into the staff costs for the count centre including details on contractual arrangements and the exact fees paid.

Mr Keegan also stated that the €323,415.34 did not include any other work.

"This (the amount) does not include staff employed on catering or security duties or other ancillary staff," he said.

Mr Keegan also admitted categorically that "no public procurement process was undertaken," to hire the staff.

He clarified this by saying that such a process was not "feasible" for the short period of work involved.

"Count staff were recruited through several different routes - applications directly from members of the public, applications from DCC staff (both current and former) and staff recommended by the city sheriff," Mr Keegan said.

CONFIRMED

This information emerged at the first meeting of the council after the summer recess during which homeless campaigner Brother Kevin Crowley and former international soccer legend Johnny Giles were confirmed as recipients of the Freedom of the City award for 2015.

However, the most debated issue at last night's meeting was the matter of the ongoing Greyhound waste workers' dispute and there were dozens of supporters in the public gallery.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke last night called for all parties involved in the dispute to "enter into unconditional negotiations and cease all court actions immediately."

jfegan@herald.ie

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