Numbers released by the development agency in response to a Freedom of Information request show Enterprise Ireland employs one person earning between €150,000 and €200,000, with an additional 17 earning between €100,000 and €150,000.
The agency said 16 of the staff earning between €100,000 and €150,000 are based in Ireland with the 17th based in China. The 18 earning more than €100,000 at the agency compares to 14 in that bracket at the IDA.
However, the number of high earners has fallen. The agency, which helps Irish-owned businesses deliver new export sales, said the numbers earning over €100,000 at the end of 2012 was 40. This was “primarily down to natural attrition rates and... recent voluntary redundancy programme,” said a spokesperson.
Last year, Enterprise Ireland-supported companies created 19,705 jobs. This resulted in a net rise of 8,476 in the numbers employed by such firms, the highest net gain in the history of the agency.
Separate documents released in response to the FOI show that the internal auditors found that there was a failure to request approval from Enterprise Ireland’s finance and operations committee for consultancy costs relating to a three-year international graduate programme.
The 2014 audit graded the shortcoming as ‘important’, requiring a plan of action to resolve the issue. The report found a consultancy firm that tendered successfully to provide the graduate programme was paid fees totalling €122,340. The audit said approval was sought from the finance and operations committee of €30,000 per annum over three years. The audit said human resources asked that this sum be raised to €39,460, totalling €118,380 over three years.
The auditors stated: “The committee approved in the first instance, expenditure of €50,160 as part of the overall budget for the project and requested HR to return to the committee at a later stage with details of further requirements. HR did not revert to the committee.”
The report states that internal audit sought evidence of a formal reporting mechanism to the finance committee of actual spend against approved expenditure. The auditors state no such report was found and that the finance committee was unaware of overspend above their original approval.