Courts Service audit finds over €120,000 wrongly paid out for on-call allowances

More than €123,000 was paid out in on-call allowances to Courts Service staff that should not have been paid, according to an internal audit.

The audit said that on-call allowances should only be paid in offices where there was a minimum of 12 callouts for out of hours or emergency court sittings each year.

However, their inquiries found multiple instances where money had been paid out when this had not happened and questioned whether the allowances should now be recouped.

The audit report said the overpayments had happened in an average of six offices annually with a “number of the same offices featuring each year” for the incorrect payments.

The audit also found a separate agreement in place for staff at one office in Co Galway had never been properly implemented.

Under the deal, some staff had their positions upgraded providing that payment of an on-call or callout allowance to them would cease.

The report said: “But this has never been implemented and the allowances continue to be paid.”