A motion of no confidence in the executive board of the IFA has been defeated after the board met for nearly 12 hours to consider the report into the high pay revelations conducted by the IFA former chief economist Con Lucey.
A motion of confidence was tabled this evening at the meeting at IFA headquarters in Dublin which began at 11am this morning.
After considerable debate the motion was defeated and a subsequent motion of no confidence in the deputy president Tim O'Leary and the IFA treasurer Jer Bergin was also defeated.
Former IFA general secretary Pat Smith was paid almost €3.5 million during his seven-year tenure at the organisation, according to details contained in a report presented to the IFA Executive Council.
Mr Lucey's report on foot of the resignation of the IFA president Eddie Downey and the general secretary Mr Smith over the high pay revelations at the IFA last month.
The details show that between pay, pensions, bonuses, and other fees Mr Smith was paid in excess of €500,000 in three of the six years reviewed.
The average amount amounted per year during Mr Smith's tenure was in excess of €492,000.
Commenting on the remuneration package in his report, Mr Lucey said that it is difficult to see the justification for the IFA funding "Top Hat" pension arrangements for Mr Smith.
He also said that the payment of fees of up to €35,000 per year from IFA Telecom to Mr Smith seems unjustified and that these funds should have remained within the IFA.
He also criticised the level of bonus paid to Mr Smith, which was equivalent to 30% of his salary.
Mr Lucey pointed out that between 2011 and 2015 there was a total of €4.6m contributed into IFA pensions schemes to cover a shortfall that had arisen, but that 26%, or €1.2m, of this amount went to Mr Smith's pension alone.
The report also gives details of the remuneration of Mr Downey and two former presidents, John Bryan and Padraig Walshe.
It confirmed that Mr Downey package included salary of €147,500 per year as well as less than €8,500 in car benefits. This came to a total of €156,000 per year.
However, it points out that Mr Downey's predecessors earned more.
It showed that Mr Bryan earned €169,400 in 2013 and €160,420 in 2012, while Padraig Walshe earned €181,400 in his final year, 2009.
In addition, the report pointed that each former president was invited on to the Board of FBD Holdings, where the current director’s fee runs at €39,600.
Mr Lucey's report is critical of the fact that the salary of the IFA president has become disconnected from the original purpose of the payment, which was to ensure that the farm did not suffer during the term of the president.
He also said that payments to IFA presidents for their role on outside bodies should in future be paid into IFA funds.
Salaries broadly in line with Civil Service Grades
However, the report found the salary levels of the organisation's Executive Staff are broadly in line with comparable Civil Service grades.
The report says that ultimately, market forces determine pay levels in the IFA. The report says the Association has to be able to recruit the best available talent from the public or private sector.
Any move away from this is likely to have a negative impact on the quality of staff and the motivation of staff.
Report recommends structural changes to IFA
Prior to his resignation in 2014, Mr Lucey had recommended that a Remuneration Committee be established which would be responsible for setting the financial reward for the organisations General Secretary and President.
In April 2015, the IFA Executive Board agreed the Committee would consist of the President, National Treasurer and Deputy President, although the President would not be involved in setting his own remuneration.
Mr Lucey now recommends that the President should not be a member of the Committee and should be replaced by a Regional Chairman.
He recommends that an external expert with "specialist knowledge of pay levels in appropriate pay sectors" should be a member of the Committee.
The report also deals with the division of powers between the Executive Board and 53-member Executive Council.
It also recommends that National Committees "be restored as the key structures in the Association for developing and pursuing ongoing policy initiatives".
In regard to the position of General Secretary, Mr Lucey said the "IFA Constitution and Rules need to be amended to adequately reflect the importance" of the position, which he says should in future be referred to as "Chief Executive".
The report adds "a new post of Secretary should be created, which would have a high degree of independence from the Chief Executive in defined areas dealing with governance and transparency, and would also take over some of the responsibilities the current post of Assistant General Secretary."
The Chief Executive should remain a member of the Executive Board, and an ex-officio member of the Executive Council.