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FAS exec's €400,000 expenses


draiocht23

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Aug 24, 2007
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308
The Indo has today revealed that a FAS executive spent €400,000 on expenses between 2001 and 2008 - an average of €50,000 a year.

Greg Craig - he hilariously held the post of director of corporate affairs until the scandal came to light - racked up the credit card bill by wining and dining his way all over the world.

Mr Craig was suspended in December, when the extent of the expenses was revealed, but was reinstated in February following pressure from his union.

The most disgraceful aspect of this story is that Mr Craig has not lost his job presumably because all of the expenses were signed off and nobody queried the lavish amounts in all of the eight years.

If Mr Craig had lost his job it would have simply started a domino effect as FAS was evidently staffed by some of the most wastrel executives in the country.

Credit card limits, which had been €100,000, have now been reduced to €7,000.

Credit card statements obtained by the Irish Independent reveal for the first time the full extent to which former corporate affairs director Greg Craig wined and dined his way around the world prior to being suspended last December amid a series of inquiries.


The executive is back at work after his suspension was lifted by the state training agency in February following pressure from his union.
FAS chief splashed €400,000 on credit card - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

Big spender made a real meal out of his credit cards - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

The €400,000 trail of fine dining and lavish hotels - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
 

youngdan

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He gobbled down so much noodles it is a miracle he is still alive. Fire Harney and give him her job.
 

Digout

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Can somebody explain to me why this is not being viewed at theft?
 

jmcc

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Jun 12, 2004
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Can somebody explain to me why this is not being viewed at theft?
Because if it was, then all the other Semi-State employees with an expense account and an expenses credit card would have to be investigated too.

Regards...jmcc
 

Digout

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Seeing as there was a small number of restaurants involved, I wonder was all this food and wine actually consumed? Think about it.....
 

draiocht23

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Tanaiste Mary Coughlan was just interviewed on Morning Ireland. When asked about the mammoth expenses she dodged the question/bullet by stating she was unable to comment until a report, into practices at FAS, from the Comptroller and Auditor General is released.

She said she expected the report to be released "soon" and said the government would then act. Unfortunately, the government is likely to be on their long, relaxing summer holidays by then.

Couglan requested the C&AG investigate FAS in September - the delay in releasing the report must be linked to the vast number of receipts the C&AG is required to sift through.

FAS chief pockets €35,000 as spending probe starts - Irish, Business - Independent.ie

Tánaiste asks C&AG to carry out Fás inquiry - The Irish Times - Mon, Sep 22, 2008
 

ajax1000

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Feb 3, 2008
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I think this is great news. If this excess can be curbed, there are are a lot of savings to be made in the public sector.
 
C

caveman

He gobbled down so much noodles it is a miracle he is still alive. Fire Harney and give him her job.
I wonder how many noodles Harney is getting courtesy of her expenses? the ridiculous thing here is not that the CC receipts show this, but that there are no CC receipts available for our lofty Ministers as they do not need to produce proof of their "expenses".

To be fair, I do not think this FAS employee did wrong. The organisation is at fault, and the government is ultimately at fault. Of course, they will claim it is a FAS issue, as they claim that all health issues belong to the HSE. I love that this government can outsource responsibility, but question what we pay them for.
 

draiocht23

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I think this is great news. If this excess can be curbed, there are are a lot of savings to be made in the public sector.
I think you may be missing the salient point here - these expenses should not have been allowed for eight long years and heads should have rolled by now - remember, Rody Molloy resigned with his pension intact.

Of course, TDs are probably in no position to judge someone for abusing expenses to such an incredible degree.

Accountability seems to be a dirty word in State agencies and the government that created them.
 

Victor Meldrew

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Why did FAS have a €1bn budget when we had practically full employment????

To be fair, I do not think this FAS employee did wrong. The organisation is at fault, and the government is ultimately at fault.
That's a very fair comment. There is no evidence of context in any of the articles.

There are jobs out there where you live out of a suitcase and spend your life picking up corporate hospitality tabs. A director of Corporate affairs would have a fair bit of this sort of thing in his role , €50K a year in hospitality is not per-se bonkers. His Credit card may also have been the default catch all card abused in the organisation. We need to see the nature and context of all expenses in FAS before we publicly lynch Mr Craig in the media.

In addition, the claim that a €7K limit is somehow prudent is bogus. If paid monthly = €94K a year. Don't focus on the limit here folks, It's FAS's expense policy that I'd like to see and then see how well it was adhered to.

The €640K spent in 4 years on flights to see a NASA site in Florida is a far better indicator of whether we get value for money out of FAS..

The only metric that FAS should be measured on is "Jobs / Euro". Every theig else is commentary.

I love that this government can outsource responsibility, but question what we pay them for.
HSE, IBEC, SIPTU, HIQA, FAS, ICTU, CIF .............(insert vested interest / Quango here)

These are the real govt. of the country. It's truly disgusting.
 

White Horse

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I thought this part of the Independent's article was very revealing:

Mr Craig, who at one stage controlled an annual budget of €10m, was suspended from duty on full pay by FAS last December while the Public Accounts Committee was in the middle of an investigation into irregularities at the state training agency.
However, following the intervention of his union SIPTU, which argued that the suspension was in breach of established disciplinary procedures, Mr Craig was reinstated and the suspension was reclassified as administrative leave and struck from his record.

The unions are up to their necks in this scandal.
 
Last edited:

Pauli

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Sep 22, 2006
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I wonder how many noodles Harney is getting courtesy of her expenses? the ridiculous thing here is not that the CC receipts show this, but that there are no CC receipts available for our lofty Ministers as they do not need to produce proof of their "expenses".

To be fair, I do not think this FAS employee did wrong. The organisation is at fault, and the government is ultimately at fault. Of course, they will claim it is a FAS issue, as they claim that all health issues belong to the HSE. I love that this government can outsource responsibility, but question what we pay them for.

You are right. The "Phuque All Accountability" thing strikes again!
 

Digout

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When people steal from private companies they are made pay it back if they want to avoid going to court.
 

Digout

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Did I not read somewhere that concerns were raised about a contract going to a family friend and was the most expensive contract tendered and then doubled it when he was in the contract
Would not be shocking. I was told a large advertising contract was awarded to somebody well connected on the northside of Dublin.
 

Victor Meldrew

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I thought this part of the Independent's article was very revealing:

Mr Craig, who at one stage controlled an annual budget of €10m, was suspended from duty on full pay by FAS last December while the Public Accounts Committee was in the middle of an investigation into irregularities at the state training agency.
However, following the intervention of his union SIPTU, which argued that the suspension was in breach of established disciplinary procedures, Mr Craig was reinstated and the suspension was reclassified as administrative leave and struck from his record.

The unions are up to their necks in this scandal.
And the unions wonder why they are despised by most private sector workers and all small businessmen/women?
 
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FAS's had a very cosy cartel right at the top for a long time, what else do FFers, IBEC and SIPTU do when they own a Board? I'd lay odds that those bills will stand up to audit, you can't hit one guy (1 of 20 directors) for sins that have been committed at all levels ALL over the country. The culture was very much 1st carriage gravy train, the rest of the carriages freight. And a select number of renegades were just let run amok. It'd be interesting to see the hotel bills for conferences organised by FAS or attended by staff around the world. Think, when their airfares came to so much money, and only a fraction of them were the 1st class they were "entitled" to, how many cheap as chips ryanair flights were taken over the last 4 years.....

Unless there are huge changes to the executive and the board the place will run as it ever did.
 

locke

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May 2, 2007
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If you're doing a lot of travelling for work, expenses can get into that range.

In 2007 I ended up racking up about 40K in expenses, although I spent about 175 days out of the country in doing so. There was about 17K on flights and 15K on accommodation as well as various meals, use of public transport and taxis etc.

However, I guess the difference was that I could show that I was dealing with particular clients and the company I worked for knew it was making a profit on my work. In FAS, you can't quantify the return.

But what I'm trying to get at is that some kind of puritanical purge on expenses is not a good idea. If you travel, you will accrue expenses. What's important is to ensure that the expenses are not false and that there's a solid business case behind making the trip.
 
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I was just looking at the articles and it apppears that a lot of that money went on costs for others. It's also over 8 years...can't do sums that big but if you break it down, would that be a huge amount for restaurants p.a.? Don't get me wrong, when you compare these amounts to an annual salary on minimuum wage, it's obscene. I just think that there's a whole lot more behind the scenes in this story. New GAA president, millions on hiring GAA venues over the country, active FFers and advertising, Community Scams...I spy political hands-in-pockets.
 
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