Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh trams: No details of pay-off for TIE boss Richard Jeffrey

Details of the pay-off received by the boss of Edinburgh's controversial tram company are to be kept secret, BBC Scotland has learned.

This comes despite an assurance the figure would be made public.

Richard Jeffrey left TIE last summer, after a bitter dispute with the contractors building the line brought the project close to collapse.

There has been criticism of salaries for senior TIE executives, with six earning more than the first minister.

TIE was wholly owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. It was scrapped by the local authority after a deal was struck with the contractors, which allowed work to restart.

Council disclosure

Last year, the tram company refused to reveal the size of Mr Jeffrey's pay-off, despite a request for the information made under the terms of Scotland's Freedom of Information legislation.

In a response to the request on 8 August, TIE said: "It would be reasonable to assume that our former CEO would see that it was implicit in his contract of employment to expect these details on his resignation from TIE's employment would not be released."

But the company also gave an assurance that the details would be made available in the months ahead.

It said: "...this information will be provided by the City of Edinburgh Council in due course through the release of their annual accounts. TIE is of the opinion that this intended release in the future will allow for a sufficient 'passage of time' so as not to cause any prejudice to its former CEO."

It has now emerged that TIE changed its official position less than three weeks later, due to the existence of a legal deal between Mr Jeffrey and Edinburgh City Council.

It stated: "...one of the primary reasons for not disclosing the details of any agreement between Richard Jeffrey and his employer was that a reference should have been made to the existence of a compromise agreement, which contained a confidentially clause."

The local authority's transport convenor, Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, said: "There will be a full public inquiry into the whole tram episode and any information that can come out will come out at that time. I am not in a position to be able to give any additional information because of the existence of a legal agreement between two parties."

The Scottish government has not set a date for the start of the public inquiry. Meanwhile, there have been calls for the council to release the information.

Scottish Greens MSP, Alison Johnstone, who represents the Lothians, said: "It is very disappointing, especially given previous assurances that the public would be made aware of the amount of the pay-off. If you have made a commitment to make information publicly available, you should stand by that commitment."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites