Big bucks to be earned by taking on multiple roles

A CO DOWN solicitor stands to earn more than £50,000 a year sitting on seven different quangos.

Bangor-based Sarah Havlin has told The Irish News she works three days a week in various roles on government arm's-length bodies.

Her highest paid position is a parades commissioner, which nets the freelance legal consultant £22,000 a year.

Elsewhere, she receives £20,500-a-year as chair of the Certification Officer for Northern Ireland; £6,000 as a board member of the Health and Social Care Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority; and £3,745 as a board member of the Agrifood and Biosciences Institute.

Over the past year Ms Havlin has also carried out casual work for a number of panels and tribunal bodies, earning up to £365 for a day's work.

Other figures who in the past year have taken numerous roles on public bodies are former IDB deputy chief executive Frank Hewitt, who sits on the boards of Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHC) and until last March was part of the Strategic Investment Board.

Over the past year Public Health Agency acting chair Julie Erskine has also worked for the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers' Superannuation Committee, NI Social Care Council, the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and the Ministerial Advisory Group for the Ulster Scots Academy.

NI Water chairman Sean Hogan, who up until March last year was chair of the Agrifood and Biosciences Institute, was appointed chair of the Department of Agriculture's TB Strategic Partnership Group last July.

Former assistant chief constable Duncan McCausland stepped down from his quango roles last year after he was questioned by his former colleagues about the awarding of police vehicle contracts. Prior to this he had been a member of the Strategic Investment Board, Maze/Long Kesh Development Corporation and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

In a statement to The Irish News, Mrs Havlin said she had given up a successful career in legal practice due to family commitments.

"I put myself forward for a number of short-term and part-time legal positions in the public sector in order to combine working with my family responsibilities," she said.

"I was appointed on merit and through open competition."


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