Chairman of ethics board paid almost €50,000

THE chairman of the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) was paid almost €50,000 to lead the six-person ethics board last year.

Mr Justice Michael P Smith is in his second term as SIPO chairman and was entitled to a daily rate of €494.05, subject to a maximum of 100 days’ pay.

This was lower than the daily rate of €526 he was allowed to take home in 2009.

Mr Justice Smith is also a member of the Public Appointments Service and a former chairman of the Electronic Voting Commission.

He is one of two members of the SIPO who can claim fees.

The other is former defence minister Michael Smith, who was a Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary North until 2007 and won a Dáil seat on seven occasions between 1969 and 2002.

In 2010, Mr Smith was paid €16,625. This was lower than the 2009 figure of €17,500.

In a statement, the Standards in Public Office Commission said its remaining members — Information Commissioner Emily O’Reilly, Clerk of the Dáil Kieran Coughlan, Clerk of the Seanad Deirdre Lane and Comptroller and Auditor General John Buckley — did not receive any fees or expenses.

“None of the four ex-officio members receive any fees or expenses for their work on other commissions to which they are appointed,” the SIPO statement noted.

The Commission was one of hundreds of publicly supported bodies examined in an investigation in yesterday’s Irish Examiner.

This included information relating to 3,364 appointments to 367 agencies.

Every possible effort was made to verify the currency and accuracy of this census of directors.

However, in some cases, information supplied by the departments was out of date and did not reflect changes to the board or current fee entitlements.

* The chairman of the Mental Health Commission is entitled to fees of €11,970. However, the members of the Commission are not paid a fee for their contribution. Emile Daly has also been replaced on the board by Patricia O’Sullivan Lacy.

* The law allows for members of Inland Fisheries Ireland to be paid €7,695, and its chairman €11,970. However, for the next two years, the members will not accept the fee.

* Dr John Feely (deceased), Darragh O’Loughlin, Phil O’Neill, Richard Durkin and Ronan Quirke are no longer members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.

* The fees payable to some bodies have been reduced by 5%. This includes the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. The six members who received fees were paid €11,970 in 2010 and the chairman, Dorothea Dowling, claimed a fee of €20,520.


Lifestyle

Dónal Clancy is a musician from An Rinn in Co Waterford. He will perform the music of his late father, Liam Clancy, in a special online solo performance on Thursday at 7pm as part of this year's Clonmel Junction Festival.Question of Taste: Dónal Clancy

BETWEEN 1973 and early 1975, John Lennon split with Yoko Ono, took up with his assistant May Pang and embarked on a period of intense creativity and outrageous behaviour. Lennon later described this time as his “lost weekend”.Rufus Wainwright has returned a new man

Stan O’Sullivan tells Ellie O’Byrne about the genre-busting album from 2007 that probably doesn’t get the recognition it deservesB-Side the Leeside - Cork’s Greatest Records: Louder & Clearer from Stanley Super 800

In recent times one of the most recurring and troubling conversations I have with teenagers, in therapy, is around their use of marijuana. Often parents seek out therapy because they have noticed a dramatic shift in their child’s behaviour.Richard Hogan: Beware of making light of your teen's marijuana use

More From The Irish Examiner