Social Media


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Home Office fined £366,900 for breaching rules over abuse inquiry head's salary

Written by Harriet Line

The Home Office was fined more than £360,000 by the Treasury for breaking the rules when negotiating the salary of the head of the public inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Professor Alexis Jay (pictured) was appointed to lead the inquiry in August but the Government department secured retrospective approval for her salary.

The Home Office's latest accounts show it breached the "control process" when negotiating the salaries of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) chair, and each of the four panel members in 2015/16.

"The Home Office paid an exemplary fine of £366,900 after securing retrospective approval from the Chief Secretary of the Treasury in relation to breaching the control process in negotiating the salaries of the Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) as well as each of the four panel members of the IICSA, in financial year 2015-16," the document states.

Under rules introduced in 2010, all appointments which are subject to ministerial approval and come with salaries above £142,500 must be agreed by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

The Home Office denied that the fine related to the appointment of Dame Lowell Goddard, who rocked the national inquiry with her resignation last August.

Dame Lowell received costs for rent and utilities, including flights for her and her family to and from New Zealand while chairing the IICSA.

Professor Jay took the helm in the wake of Dame Lowell's departure, earning a salary of £118,360.

A Government spokeswoman said: "The Treasury has the power to consider fines for departments who breach agreed spending control processes, including those relating to senior salary approval.

"The Home Office paid an exemplary fine of £366,900 after securing retrospective approval from the Treasury in relation to breaching the control process in negotiating the salaries of the Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse as well as each of the four panel members.

"This fine relates to the appointment of Professor Alexis Jay as IICSA Chair in August 2016 and the panel members' salary pay that was agreed by the Home Office for 2015/16.

"The Home Office have since reviewed appointment procedures to prevent further such breaches."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved.