Central Bank paid severance package to person who never worked for them

The C&AG says the bank paid out over €384,000 between 2011 and 2013

Central Bank, severance package, payment, employee, report, Comptroller and Auditor General, C&AG

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

A new report from the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) has found the Central Bank paid out a severance package to a person who never worked at the bank.

The document examined the management of severance payments in public sector bodies.

It says the Central Bank "had more frequent recourse to termination agreements and severance payments during the period under review than the other public bodies examined".

It found that six payments, amounting to €384,000 - and with related legal costs of nearly €157,000 - were made by the Central Bank from 2011 to 2013.

It also says the bank did not adopt a standard approach for assessing and determining these payments.

"In addition, the payment of severance was approved at varying levels within the organisation and there was no formal delegated authority to make such agreements", it adds.

It singled out four of the cases, with a total cost of approximately €342,000.

"They involved an individual that had not yet commenced employment with the bank, two employees each of whom had less than two years' service and a long-term contractor who had never been an employee of the bank", the C&AG says.

But it adds that in response to the findings, the Central Bank has made a number of amendments to its procedures to "incorporate the good practice framework presented".

While the Central Bank itself says: "The report notes that widespread use of severance payments in the public sector could result in appreciable outflows of public monies, however, it recognises that reluctance to use severance arrangements in appropriate circumstances could result in the retention of employees who are not contributing to the goals of the organisation and who may pose a significant risk to it".

"The bank, in recognising its responsibility to balance the use of public monies and minimise the risk to its operations, has made a number of changes to operating procedures and practices".