A Mayo County Councillor has described as ‘absolutely crazy’ payments to members of the authority’s audit committee.
Cllr Peter Flynn (FG) said members of the committee were allocated €10,000 and the chair received €15,000.
“I’m six weeks back on the council and every department I go to I am told there is no money yet we are paying €10,000 to members of the committee and €15,000 to the chair. It is absolutely crazy and sends out the wrong message,” he said at the July monthly meeting of the authority.
Cllr Flynn, himself an accountant by profession, asked for the renumeration to be reviewed at the September meeting. He asked if professional people might be asked to sit on the audit committee in a voluntary capacity.
Cllr Brendan Mulroy, Cathaoirleach of the council, suggested Cllr Flynn put it down as a notice of motion. Cllr Flynn agreed to that.
However, Cllr Flynn’s comments were rebuked by the council’s Chief Executive, Peter Hynes.
“The suggestion the committee is remiss in any way is refuted. There is a set statutory process and it is adhered to. The work of the audit committee is subject to review and comment by local government auditors and they have raised no concerns,” said Mr Hynes.
It was not the last time in the meeting Cllr Flynn and Mr Hynes would clash.
“I never said there was anything amiss. It is obviously a thorny point,” replied Cllr Flynn. “We should be challenged to ensure we spend our money in the best possible way because right now it doesn’t appear we are doing that,” he added.
Mr Hynes concluded by saying any ‘derogatory or negative’ comments on the audit committee is ‘refuted’.