Another Fás Tale
11 October, 2009
A friend of mine is in the restaurant business and swears the following is true. I believe him.
One night last year, he was phoned by his restaurant manager to get clearance on a strange request a valuable customer had made. The customer was an executive in Fás, who had just hosted a lavish dinner for about 25 people in the restaurant, all paid for by Fás, and presumably validly so.
However at the end of the evening, when the bill (which was for about €2,500) was being settled, the executive asked asked the manager to add an extra €500 to the bill, and to give the exceutive a voucher for this amount in return, for his personal use.
My friend declined to go along with this little scam at the taxpayer’s expense. His honesty did not have a happy ending, for the Fás executive cancelled the account in my friend’s restaurant and did no further business there. The scam artist, by the way, wasn’t a serious heavy-hitter in Fás, but a middle-manager.
So tell me: what does this say about the culture of casual corruption in that organisation? I sense it is rotten through and through, and with the recent revelations of (alleged) fraud in Irish Rail, we must wonder about the control systems, the standard of management and the rip-off culture in all such State-owned organisations. Decent, honest employees in these organisations, presumably still the vast majority, must now blow the whistle on their crooked colleagues, if they are not to be tarred with the same brush.