16 Nov 2016
RECOMMENDATIONS TO REBUILD TRUST AND TRANSPARENCY ACCEPTED IN FULL
Addressing the IFA Executive Council today, IFA President Joe Healy said he was pleased to announce that the recommendations of the Implementation Committee have been discussed at national and local level within the organisation and accepted in full as part of the rebuilding of trust and transparency within the Association.
“At our AGM in April, I pledged to put in place maximum transparency and high standards of governance within IFA to rebuild trust and credibility among farmers. We will now move forward to ensure the Association is adequately resourced and equipped to continue to deliver the best possible results for farm families.”
The Chairman of the Implementation Committee Teddy Cashman presented his final report to today’s Executive Council, which outlined a number of additional measures to ensure high standards of governance are in place to provide a basis for member confidence in the activities of IFA.
The Committee was established to implement the recommendations contained in the Lucey Report of December 2015.
The measures to strengthen governance include:
- Clarity around the responsibilities of the governing body (Executive Council) and procedures for delegation of work to the President’s Committee (formerly the Executive Board)
- A comprehensive induction and continuing training programme for members and those with governance responsibilities
- The Secretary to the Executive Council, which is a new role, will have responsibility for supporting the implementation of governance standards and advising the Executive Council on governance matters
- Codes of Conduct for Council members and staff to ensure confidence and trust
- An active role for the National Finance Committee in managing the financial performance of the Association
- Recognition of the Audit Committee and the Remuneration Committee in the Constitution & Rules of the Association
The National Treasurer Jer Bergin updated Council members on the financial position of IFA. The draft Accounts for the year ended 31st March, 2016 showed income of €18.9m and a deficit for the year of €1.4m. The operating result for IFA was a positive €127,000, but the effect of new accounting rules under FRS102 involving valuation changes altered this position to produce a deficit.
The new accounting standard also requires organisations to publish a composite remuneration figure for key management personnel. In order to provide maximum transparency to members, IFA has decided to go significantly further than the accounting requirement and give a breakdown of key management personnel as follows:
- Individual payments to the President, Deputy President and Director General
- Aggregate figure for Executive Management (the Secretary, Director of Organisation & Financial Controller)
- Aggregate figure for Executive Council labour replacement allowance
To provide further clarity and transparency in the area of staff salaries, IFA has also published the average remuneration (pay and pension) of the 15 next highest paid staff positions.
See notes below
The Implementation Committee engaged independent experts to carry out a review and benchmarking exercise on staff pay in the Association.
A review of the entire IFA payroll below General Secretary found ‘Overall, remuneration levels were broadly in line with what we would expect from an organisation such as the IFA’. A detailed benchmarking exercise with both the private and public sectors for executive staff and development officers concluded that the remuneration levels for IFA employees were in the lower half when compared to similar positions.
The National Treasurer updated members of the Council on the latest financial position with the management accounts for the six months to end September 2016. Membership income has fallen by 8% compared to the same period in 2015 and the current number stands at 72,376.
Operational income for April to September 2016 is down 17% on the corresponding period last year and operational expenditure is down 7% for the same period. Taking exceptional items into account, this has created a deficit of €830,000.
|KEY MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL|
|YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2016|
|Year End||Year End|
|Employer Pension Contribution||109,628||145,197|
|Employer Pension Contribution||110,361||103,363|
|Executive Council – Labour Replacement||238,805||354,032|
|(All labour replacement charges by Council members for all IFA activity during the financial year )|
ADDITIONAL DISCLOSURE NOTE
|The Lucey Implementation Committee retained Mercer Consultants to benchmark the salaries of a number of IFA staff positions and committed to disclosing the average remuneration of the top 15 salaried positions after Executive Management. This average does not form part of key Management Personnel data.|
|The average remuneration of the top 15 staff after Executive Management was :|
|Employer Pension Contribution||23,773||23,927|
|The benchmarking process carried out by Mercer noted “Overall, remuneration levels were broadly in line with what we would expect from an organisation such as IFA. However, there did seem to be a wider range of salaries than we would have expected at the executive secretary level (which we understand reflects the value of the sector an individual represents and the experience this requires). “|