Row of Tony Holohan: other universities confirm that they are the ones who pay people on secondment


The pay system for civil servants and civil servants on secondment remains unclear – with questions over how it is managed following the planned transfer of chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan to Trinity College Dublin.

he Department of Health has pledged to fund his teaching post at Trinity College with a package of €2 million a year until his retirement, including his annual salary of €187,000.

But it appears that the organization to which the public or civil servant is seconded should normally pay their salary for the duration of their transfer, rather than their parent employer.

This is the procedure currently in place by University College Dublin (UCD) and the University of Limerick (UL).

Two other universities did not release specific details when asked.

Asked about the system in place at UCD, a spokesperson told the Irish Independent“We don’t have seconded civil servants.

“We have four people seconded from the entire civil service and each of their salaries is paid by the university.”

Meanwhile, a UL spokesperson said the university has “both staff seconded from outside the institution as well as staff seconded to UL from other government organizations.”

They added: “The organization in which the staff member performs their work funds the salary.” They added that there were no further details available at this time.

A spokesperson for NUI Galway responded, saying: ‘We have several secondment agreements with other public sector organisations, both external and internal, which are in place for fixed periods.

“Secondments of this nature are typical across the sector and have significant benefits for our teaching, learning and research. Due to employee confidentiality, we are not able to discuss personal data of data subjects. »

Asked about the arrangements in place at Maynooth University, a spokesperson said: ‘There are various secondment, career break and other arrangements, with government and industry partners, entered into by the universities.

“We do not disclose the specific or personal details attached to these arrangements.”

The secondment policy issue is expected to be part of the external review, which will be carried out by an expert to be appointed by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly this week.

It will examine the process and decision-making around the appointment and indefinite secondment of Dr. Holohan as Professor of Public Health Strategy and Leadership.

Dr. Holohan will not take on the role following the controversy and the decision to suspend her, pending a briefing note from the department’s secretary general, Robert Watt.

In his briefing note made public last week, Mr Watt said: ‘Secondments are a common feature of the civil service and the civil service.

“The civil service secondment policy provides for the management of secondments within the civil service itself, but in addition there is a long-standing practice of secondments between the department and various public sector bodies, in particular, where expertise specific is required.

“As of April 6, the ministry had 12 of its own staff seconded to other ministries or government agencies under ministries, including staff seconded to the Ministry of An Taoiseach and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and based in Northern Ireland. and Brussels.

“The duration of these secondments to other organizations generally ranges between one and five years, but some will be subject to extension, depending on the agreement made at the time the secondment began and some would be indefinite.”


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