Executive reform necessary to overcome RTÉ crisis

28 June 2023

Labour arts, media and workers’ rights spokesperson Marie Sherlock said following today’s Oireachtas Committee meeting, it is clear that serious reform is required to the dysfunctional RTÉ Executive.

Senator Sherlock said:

“Following the Committee hearings today, it is clear there is a level of dysfunction within the RTÉ executive that is untenable.

“While many questions remain from today’s hearing, one clear outcome from today is the need for reform.

“There are clear culture, trust and accountability issues with evidence to suggest that executives operated in silos and did not confer on matters of mutual responsibility and that allegations that a Director General could issue an instruction which would not be questioned by other executives in the organisation

“It is extraordinary that CFO “took comfort” from the knowledge that transactions were approved by the Director General. This is an abdication of responsibility, it is at odds with good accounting standards and appears contrary to the apparent efforts to bring the barter account onto the balance sheet of RTÉ from 2021.

“It’s astounding that the Commercial Director took instruction from the Director General and failed to have proper records of this highly unusual transaction.

“Many questions still remain about the anonymised invoices, the shocking processing cost of over €80,000 for a €150,000 transaction routed through a third party to pay the agent of Ryan Tubridy, and the “urgency” with which the payments were made in order to waive the “end of contract” payment.

“More positively, the Chair acknowledged that serious reform is now required and that the business model with regard to negotiation of “talent” fees needs to be reviewed.

“For the hundreds of staff who had to wait 14 years for a modest pay increase late last year, those workers who are still facing arduous negotiations about travel and subsistence costs and who have told us about the difficulty of getting sanction for projects, for cameras and equipment to provide reports, it is absolutely critical that that reform process starts immediately.”

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