NUJ statement on PAC report

  • 05 Mar 2024

The union has welcomed publication of the Public Accounts Committee report on financial management of RTÉ.

With sister unions and the RTÉ Trade Union Group the NUJ will consider the extensive recommendations of the Committee.

Giving an initial reaction to the report Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary, supported the inclusion of RTÉ under the remit of the comptroller and auditor general and called for publication of the two expert reports on governance and workplace culture “as soon as possible” to expedite the implementation of organisational and cultural change in the public service broadcaster.

Dooley said:

“The NUJ has long advocated greater transparency and accountability in relation to all aspects of RTÉ, including executive renumeration. The comptroller and Auditor General’s office could exercise an important role in building trust. The PAC report is, however, just one part of the jigsaw and should be considered alongside the Corporate Governance report and the review on HR Culture and contracts.  At a practical level, I do not believe the reports need to be published simultaneously and if either is available in a timely fashion it should be considered by the Minister and put into the public domain.  

“Many of the recommendations of the PAC deal with HR issues, including renumerations, and will inevitably feature in the HR Culture review. Likewise, the recommendations on corporate governance will overlap with the report of the group chaired by Prof Niamh Brennan. So many people have been tilling in the same field that it is difficult to keep track of developments.

“While all of this work is valuable, RTÉ staff need to see progress on reform, alongside certainty regarding funding. Delays in the publication of other reports, such as the Future of Media Commission report, the epic delay in publishing the statutory review of defamation law and the long-awaited review of the Freedom of Information Act are worrying precedents and it is vital that recommendations are co-ordinated and considered.  Trade unions will consider the practical and contractual implications of the PAC report and looks forward to publication of the Expert Report.”

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