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Three new reports on RTÉ governance published
08 May 2024 : Luke Shanahan
Kevin Bakhurst
Three new reports on governance, human resources and finances at RTÉ have been published. The reports found that RTÉ lost financial records relating to three years’ transactions in the barter account during an office move.

Last July, the Irish Government decided to commission reviews of governance, culture and contractor fees, as well as HR and ‘Other Matters’ at RTÉ from two Expert Advisory Committees. The purpose of this being to address the core issues that gave rise to governance failures and other issues at RTÉ, and make recommendations to address them.

Under section 109(7)(a) of the Broadcasting Act, Minister Catherine Martin appointed forensic accountants Mazars to examine the RTÉ barter account and identify whether RTÉ held any other off-balance sheet accounts.

Three reviews have now been published:

  • A report by the Expert Advisory Committee on Contractor Fees, HR and Other Matters, 
  • A report by the Expert Advisory Committee on Governance and Culture
  • The Mazars Report into RTÉ's use of its barter account

The most notable finding from these reports is that RTÉ lost financial records relating to three years’ transactions in the barter account during an office move. The records, according to the report published by accountancy firm Mazars, were kept in hard copy.

Another report on governance and culture at the national broadcaster has recommended that the RTÉ board should adopt a “zero tolerance” approach to leaks at board or leadership team level.

Reports found that problems with the barter account were “hiding in plain sight”.

A separate HR review found that any future exit proposed by RTÉ in future should be approved by the board and be subject to caps. Consultant Brendan McGinty’s report on how RTÉ engages presenters and contractors found that present pay should be reviewed with pay bands introduced.

RTÉ director general Kevin Bakhurst said: “We understand the need to restore trust in RTÉ following a succession of revelations last year and I hope it is clear that we take the issues which have emerged very seriously.”

Minister Catherine Martin described the reports as “significant” and said that “if implemented in full”, they would improve governance, culture and industrial relations at the broadcaster.

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