The National Transport Authority has been accused of “gross mismanagement” after it emerged it is paying agency staff working for it on average almost €140,000 a year, double what it is paying its own full-time staff.
At a meeting of the Dail's spending watchdog this morning, the NTA was slammed after the body confirmed that the number of agency staff far exceeds the number of full-time staff.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) heard that on average full-time staff at the NTA are paid on average about €73,000 a year including PRSI and pension payments while the average cost of each agency worker is nearly €140,000.
It was further explained to the committee that the vast majority of these agency workers are not performing specialised work but fulfilling “day to day” activities.
Several committee members were highly critical of the spend with Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy putting pressure on the Department of Transport to explain why this is the case.
PAC chairman Sean Fleming went through correspondence from the NTA in which the figures were contained told his colleagues that at present there are 114 full-time staff and 150 outsourced agency work.
“It is outrageous, this represents gross mismanagement of their financial allocation,” said Mr Fleming.
In its documentation to the PAC, seen by the Irish Examiner, the NTA said there is a “significant cost premium attached to the use of outsourced placements” over NTA direct employees.
“On average, the cost of an outsourced placement is more than double the salary cost of an equivalent permanent role within the Authority,” it confirmed.
“In terms of the Authority’s resourcing mix, the overall aim of the NTA is to shift the 2019 ratio of ‘Direct Employees: Outsourced Placements’ (44% v 56%) to an approximate ratio of 68% direct employees and 32% outsourced placements,” it said.
“The Authority’s future planned resourcing mix reflects a strategic resourcing aim whereby the organisation is underpinned by a strong majority employee base and where outsourcing is solely used to access specialist technical knowledge and expertise that is not available internally and for resource scaling up and down based on the life cycles of various projects and strategic programmes,” the NTA added.