From top: Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland; A Lexus IS300h

Ken Foxe, a freelance journalist and assistant lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology, has obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act, which show the CEO of Enterprise Ireland Julie Sinnamon was wrongly given a company car.

The car was a Lexus IS300h – a model which has a starting price of €37,950.

Government policy, since the end of 2011, states that cars should not be provided to CEOs of non-commercial State agencies.

The documents obtained by Mr Foxe also show the Department of Enterprise and Innovation defended the decision to include the provision of the car in Ms Sinnamon’s contract – while admitting it should have sought sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform – and even asked that Ms Sinnamon be allowed to continue using the car.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform refused to sanction the provision of the car and requested that  Ms Sinnamon’s contract be amended to remove the reference to the provision of a car.

In a letter, dated March 4, 2015, Philip Kelly, assistant secretary of EU Affairs, Trade Policy & Corporate Services at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, wrote to  Oonagh Buckley, assistant secretary at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, to explain that the situation arose following a ‘breakdown in communication’.

In her reply refusing to sanction the car, Ms Buckley explained that if she was to do so, others would make similar requests.

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Meanwhile, Mr Foxe has also obtained a PowerPoint presentation which was created by Oireachtas staff for the Oireachtas Commission.

It concerned Ireland’s Freedom of Information legislation and how, since amendments were made to the FOI Act last year, there has been a five-fold increase in requests.

The slides show that, following this increase, the Government wants to start publishing details of politicians’ salaries, pensions and expenses, etc., in a manner of its choosing, as opposed to leaving it up to the media.

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As part of the presentation, The Communications Clinic – run by Terry Prone and Anton Savage – was flagged as an example of previous FOI requests received:

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There you go now.

Thanks Ken Foxe

Pic: Business and Leadership and Lexus.ie

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12 thoughts on “Lexus Nexus

  1. manolo

    “We now have the ability to web publish effectively”.

    That must have been some turning point in the capabilities of the public service! When did this occur?!?

  2. manolo

    As scandalous as the EI story iss, we will never find out who authorised the contract that blatantly contravened government rules. If we want accountability, the first thing is to find out is who signed on behalf of EI.

    1. Digs

      So what? She brokered a company car. If the car wasn’t provided the renumeration package would have been altered and reflected that. Naive a little. This is a non story.

      1. donkey_kong

        it’s not though it exposes her as a greedy lady.

        I am forever hearing on the news if more women were in bank board and state run enterprise board the bank crash would have never happened..
        This is just another piece of evidence to prove women in power are as greedy as men in power.

        1. manolo

          I had long conversations with a lady that was on a bank’s board of directors at the time of the crash. The bottom line is that non-execs are useless when it comes to corporate governance, be they male or female.They just don’t have access to sufficient information to influence or stop greed and incompetence.

      2. manolo

        The cash in lieu of the car would have been fine (as long as the salary was below the top limit). The car itself was not fine since it was clearly unacceptable as per written and well know instructions. Either this was a way to circumvent the limitations on pay packages or just plain stupid.

  3. Owen

    How crap must that PP have been!? Red writing on a white background. Eye pain and sleep must have been high on the agenda.

  4. John

    Tax @40%, pension levy @7%, BIK on the car, VHI, etc.

    Add childcare and a power wardrobe into the mix and you have to start asking serious questions.

    Even if you were on €100k, you’re hardly going to be buying a 2-up, 2-down in a very modest suburb of Dublin any time soon.

    It’s not a particularly high end car either. I’d say it’s hard enough to get someone to live in Dublin and do this job without all this media hullabaloo.

    1. Digs

      +1. This kind of tawdry info is always been rolled out. ” GOVERNMENT JET TO COST STATE €3000 000 over one hundred and twenty five years”

    2. galwaytt

      @John – well lets take a leaf out of the info in the letter then: EI have offices all over the country: move the CEO’s job then. As they say, they now have the ‘ability’ to web publish effectively. Right ho, telecommute then. And as to why anyone on such a salary level should be given any perk of a car – or anything else – whilst claiming a 6-figure salary………….whilst a staff member on 30k has to buy their own car………..well that’s just perverse.

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