Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ardmore gets new MD?

Rumours of the appointment of a new Managing Director at Ardmore Studios reached me 24hrs ago. I have looked for official confirmation that this is the case but have yet to receive it.

When official confirmation is received we might learn whether the appointment affirms a new commitment to the business on the part of the owners or whether it is in effect a pro tem arrangement put in place to achieve an orderly wind-up of operations.

update 1... confirmation so far only of the exact share in the studios owned by the State, from Enterprise Ireland - "The State holds a 31.67% interest in Ardmore Studios Ltd which was previously held by the National Development Corporation and subsequently assigned to Enterprise Ireland."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Credits not contractual

In a recent post I wondered whether the Film Board's new Project Managers would be public service employees or whether applicants would in effect be self-employed individuals contracting for the work. The advertisement for the first position appeared on Friday and it seems that the two-year contract is being offered on the basis of €60,000 per year excluding VAT.

Almost inevitably that will mean that a company will be providing the service (through a named individual) to the Irish Film Board. Doubtless there are employer savings and other employment law factors at play here which may also be 'tax beneficial' for the persons thus contracted.

That said, one has to wonder what kind of checks and balances will be maintained in areas such as potential conflicts of interest when so much of the preliminary work of the Project Managers will be conducted verbally before formal applications are sent in to the IFB.

A contact has suggested that the current CEO may be similarly contracted by the IFB through a management consultancy company set up a little more than a year ago. And the latest news that the IFB Head of Legal Affairs is to join Element Films may explain why the IFB sought tenders for the provision of legal services a few months back.

To repeat, this method of hiring expertise may be an astute way of keeping down employer costs and obligations. If it also means, however, that five of the IFB's most senior roles are not occupied by public servants or people with employees' rights and entitlements it may make it easier and more cost-effective to abolish the agency should that argument be made again.

Lastly, the address given for legal services tenders and for the Project Manager role is the IFB's Dublin address rather than the IFB's Galway HQ. Make of that what you will.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sunday Times article...

An article I've written will appear in the Sunday Times Irish edition tomorrow. It follows up on this earlier post here. You will have to buy the hard copy edition if you don't have a subscription to get you behind the pay-wall.

There was a lot more detail that space wouldn't allow so I may do a supplementary post here on some of the issues. If you see the article and want to comment on it you can use the 'reactions' button below.