Audit finds €155 bottle of whiskey was put on charity CEO's credit card

By Noel Baker

A damning internal audit of the Catholic Institute for Deaf People found numerous financial discrepancies as well as excessive spending on its credit cards, including a €155 bottle of whiskey.

The internal HSE audit, one of dozens released under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that between 2012 and 2015, “a significant amount of control was vested in the [then] COO/head of finance”, who was the highest paid employee at the charity and whose total remuneration package ranged from €106,600 (2012) to €161,740 (2015).

The remuneration of the then-CEO, at €123,000 at one point, “was in excess of HSE payscales”.

The CIDP had nine credit cards. The audit examined the cards for the former CEO and former COO/head of finance — expenditure on the two cards was €52,337 in 2014 and €49,997 in 2015.

According to the audit: “Credit card statements were not checked, authorised, or approved. The credit card for the CEO who resigned on September 30, 2015, was still in operation in March 2016 at the time of the audit. Expenditure on this card for the last two months of 2015 totalled €2,275.71.”

The former CEO told the audit he returned his credit card on September 29, 2015, the day before he resigned and had no knowledge of subsequent purchases.

The audit states: “In October 2015, €1,639.60 was incurred on the former CEO’s credit card in relation to his departure from CIDP.”

    Included on the credit card were the following:

  • October 1: Fields Jewellers watch — €199;
  • October 1: O’Briens Wines, one bottle of Midleton whiskey — €155;
  • October 2: 101 Talbot restaurant meal €1,285.60.

Last year, the HSE provided €3,798,128 in funding to the CIDP, which said the issues identified had been addressed and would not happen again.

This article first appeared in today's Irish Examiner.


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