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Molloy got €900,000 too much in FAS State payoff

Rody Molloy received almost €900,000 too much in his 'golden handshake' farewell.

The former director general of FAS was significantly 'overpaid' when handed a severance package worth €3.8m over the next 30 years, according to a top-level report.

The State spending watchdog, the Comptroller and Auditor General, has declared the value of the severance settlement "exceeded the amount that would have been payable" under the terms of a general sanction for chief executives whose contracts were being terminated or not renewed.

Guidelines

The Department of Finance has persisted in declaring that Molloy's deal was based on guidelines which allow for pay-offs of chief executives whose contracts were being terminated.

Comptroller John Buckley has now specified how Mr Molloy benefited from an excess of taxpayers' money.

He declared that the settlement exceeded by €72,422 the maximum compensation generally available to chief executives on fixed-term contracts whose contracts were being terminated or not renewed.

But the deal exceeded by €892,269 the sum that would have been payable to a comparable public servant taking early retirement.

Mr Buckley's findings are contained in a highly critical report on internal controls and corporate governance at the State-training agency.

The report revealed further details of a culture of excess and lax financial controls which was allowed to flourish at the top echelons of FAS during Mr Molloy's time in charge.

He came under intense pressure to exit the organisation following revelations of lavish spending of taxpayers' money.

The remarkable golden handshake was approved by Tanaiste Mary Coughlan and Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. The board of FAS approved the huge package after it was negotiated with officials from the Department of Enterprise in November 2008.

The deal included a superannuation gratuity of €333,735, a sum of €55,622 in lieu of notice, an ex-gratia payment for the same amount. He was also told he could keep the company car, worth almost €21,000. And he was promised an annual pension of €111,245.

aokeeffe@independent.ie