MLA ‘amazed’ over job offer to board adviser

A FORMER member of the Policing Board has said that he is amazed at the board’s decision to appoint a human rights lawyer without agreeing her salary.

DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt said that he was shocked to read in Saturday’s News Letter that the board, which oversees the work of the PSNI, had announced Alyson Kilpatrick as its new ‘human rights adviser’ but had not agreed what she would be paid.

Ms Kilpatrick has previously been employed by the Policing Board and last year it emerged that she had been paid more than £10,000 a month by the board as a legal consultant. In her first two years working as a consultant for the board, Ms Kilpatrick received more than a quarter of a million pounds.

However, when asked what salary Ms Kilpatrick would be paid, a spokeswoman for the board said: “The human rights adviser is not paid a salary.

“The post is remunerated on a per diem [per day] basis. Terms and conditions are currently being finalised.”

Mr Spratt, who chaired the Policing Board’s human resources committee and stepped down from the board last year after a three-year term, has in the past raised concerns about Ms Kilpatrick’s remuneration.

He said that he would be speaking to party colleague David McIlveen, who suceeded him on the board, about the issue.

Mr McIlveen was on the committee which appointed Ms Kilpatrick and last week congratulated her on her appointment.

Mr Spratt said: “It is totally amazing that any board would see fit to make an appointment on the basis of not knowing the salary scales or anything else.

“I’ve sat on boards for the appointment of assistant chief constables – it’s one of the first things that they want to know.

“I think on that basis there need to be quesitons asked about this and certainly I will be speaking to David McIlveen before today’s out.”

Mr Spratt said that he was also concerned at the board’s accountability measures. He added: “In the past, they weren’t able to answer the question of what the accountability measures were as far as [Ms Kilpatrick’s] hourly rate, the daily rate if there was a daily rate, and how the whole thing was monitored.”