We are letting the cat out of the bag – 627 euros per meeting?
The Consell de Caça de Catalunya (Catalan Hunting Board) was simply one of the advisory bodies to the Catalan Government that I selected at random to study as part of the Govern Obert project. I set out to discover who were its members and what was its annual budget.
According to their own web page, the Consell de Caça is made up of forty members although elsewhere the Generalitat website states that the board has about 15 members. The names of the board members were not published anywhere but the Consell de Caça provided us with a list, which can be seen here.According to the secretary of the board, its budget is “zero euros”.
The chair of the Consell de Caça is the Director General of Medi Natural. Some of its members are representatives of the administration who are automatically appointed because of the office they hold. The others belong to private bodies, such as the Federación Catalana de Caza (Catalan Hunting Federation) or the Unión de Payeses (Farmers’ Union). The members are appointed by the Minister for Agriculture, and none of them receive remuneration or expenses for attending board meetings.
However, not all boards function in the same way. The 21 members of the Consell de Protecció de la Natura (Nature Conservation Board) for example do receive a per diem for attending board meetings. They receive 64.91 Euro per meeting under a Government agreement dated June 1, 2010. These members are appointed by the President of the Generalitat so you might think that the difference is related to who appoints the board members.
But it is not. Because within the same Ministry, for example, the members of the Comissió de Catalunya d’Homologació de Trofeus de Caça (Catalan Committee for the Standarization of Hunting Trophies) also receive compensation for meeting attendance although they are appointed by the Minister.
One in ten of the bodies that come under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture—of which there are 37 in all—bear the name “Consell” (advisory board or council). Some of them are simply “consells”, others are called Consell Territorial or Consell Regulador. In addition, there are other bodies (“Comisions” and “Juntas”) whose members are paid to attend meetings.
The only place to find out who gets paid and who does not is in the decree that established the body in question and subsequent legislation. Neither the Ministry of Agriculture nor any ministry has a list of which advisory bodies pay members for attendance. The rate is normally 64.91 euros.
However, not everyone receives this minimal per diem. If you look at the new Government agreement, you that will see that some board and committee members are paid up to ten times that sum—€627.45—just for their presence at a meeting. We’ll keep you informed.
Translated by Dick Edelstein. Thank you.