Value for Money – Ann Fitzgerald of the National Consumer Agency?

This article from Shane Phelan in the Irish Independent told us how the Chief Executive of the National Consumer Agency, Ms. Ann Fitzgerald, received a performance bonus of nearly €25,000 for her 2007 performance. That’s €25,000 over and above her near €187,000 salary.

Let’s just remind ourselves of the performance of the National Consumer Agency in 2007. As I highlighted back in November, the NCA received 2250 complaints from consumers that were specifically related to suspected breaches in legislation – there were 70,000 calls in total.

And what was the prosecution rate for these 2250 complaints – a mind numbing 1%. That’s 19 prosecutions out of 2250 consumer complaints.

Definitely getting value for money out of our NCA Chief Executive there.

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7 Responses to Value for Money – Ann Fitzgerald of the National Consumer Agency?

  1. Colm February 10, 2009 at 11:50 #

    At €25,000 for 19 prosecutions that’s €1300 per case. I know barristers who don’t get close to that.

  2. brendan February 10, 2009 at 13:46 #

    I heard some guy from the consumer affairs people on Matt Cooper saying that because of the time and cost of prosecutions they didn’t do so many.

    Maybe if they didn’t pay out these bonus’ they could actually look after consumers instead of lining their own pockets?

  3. Sarah February 10, 2009 at 17:19 #

    ireland is now awash with unemployed solicitors – should now be much cheaper to take cases. I made two complaints to NCA about overcharging. They never got back to me with what happened. the first time i followed up with them and they said the cafe/restaurant had in effect denied everything and as i had mislaid the relevant receipt, nother further could be done. But nice if they had the manners to let me know – an email would have sufficed. I did not bother following up the second complaint given my disillusionment with complaint no. 1.

    It is rediculous to pay a bonus. That salary is huge. Where is the pride in doing a good job? Perhaps I am old fashioned? The other consumer people are in it for the money too according to pricewatch. They keep fat fees for ‘representing’ us on state boards and we never see the results of that representation.

  4. Des February 11, 2009 at 19:59 #

    Toothless, useless.

    Tescos and PC World are still happily not displaying prices despite many complaints from many people.

  5. valueireland February 11, 2009 at 20:15 #

    @Colm – Unfortunately it just shows us where the NCA priorities really lie.

    @brendan – I’d have to agree with you. You wouldn’t mind performance bonus’ if there was the performance backing it up.
    The NCA has the opportunity to actually be an earner for the government if they prosecuted and fined aggressively. That would have a 3-pronged benefit – shows consumers that the NCA is trying to protect them, shows businesses that they can’t get away with breaking regulations, and makes money for the government.

    @Sarah – Not knowing the full details of your overcharging experiences, but technically that isn’t an of fence and is probably something that the NCA wouldn’t get involved in anyway.
    You’re right though, common courtesy would have seen the NCA at least let you know that.

    @Des – given the news today, they were obviously too busy doing their grocery shopping surveys than do anything like prosecute businesses that break government regulations. Brilliant!

  6. Peter March 13, 2009 at 18:41 #

    I lodged a complaint of incorrect/no price displayed at a local shop and was told to provide evidence.So I have to take pictures in the small local shop and send them in. Unbelievable! All they had to do was ring the shop and threaten to take action if the shop did not display proper prices. But no that would me work.

  7. valueireland March 14, 2009 at 14:17 #

    @Peter – Thanks for the comment – that’s brilliant! It seems to me that since the announcement that the NCA was going to be merged with the Competition Authority that they’ve been kicking back taking things easy. We’re not hearing anything from them.
    What am I to do – I’ve nothing to write about if they’re not coming up with ridiculous stuff?

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