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Three FTP members earned over €53k combined at Council inquiries

Figures released to the Medical Independent (MI) following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request show that, in 2016, Dr Mary Henry was paid €21,000 for 42 days’ work on FTP inquiries, Dr Abdul Bulbulia received €18,500 for 34 days of work on inquiries, and Dr Brendan Healy was paid €14,000 for 28 days, with an applicable rate of €500 per day. The figures are “gross pay subject to taxation, PRSI, and USC under the PAYE system”, noted the Council.

The three FTP Committee members were involved in 39 FTP inquiries. “Of the 45 members on the FTP Committee, 31 served on inquiry panels in 2016,” said the Council’s spokesperson. “The FTP Committee is comprised of a variety of members with a wide range of expertise and specialist knowledge. Committee members are assigned to panels based on this expertise and their availability when inquiries are scheduled.”

The Committee usually sits with three members to hear inquiries. It comprises at least one member who must be a Council member, who is the Chairperson of the panel and who is responsible for making sure that the inquiry is conducted in accordance with fair procedures. The Committee must be composed of a lay majority. “A Committee member who sits at the commencement of an inquiry must remain on the Committee until the inquiry is completed, regardless of how many days that may take,” added the Council’s spokesperson.

There were 47 inquiries completed, two adjourned and 44 pending at the end of 2016. Some 134 days were spent on FTP inquiries, significantly up from 73 days in 2015, with the average number of days per inquiry being 2.8.

Overall, allowances totalling €237,800 were paid to 53 people who are members of sub-committees and working groups, according to the Council’s annual report for 2016, with the payments ranging “from €300 to €20,000”.  The FoI request sought information on allowances paid to individuals where these payments cumulatively came to €10,000 or more.

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