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13 June, 2024
 
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Controversy deepens over overtime pay to deputy spokesperson

Auditor General calls for reimbursement amidst scandal involving University of Cyprus and Presidential Council

Newsroom

The controversy surrounding overtime payments for Deputy Government Spokesperson Doxa Komodromou has escalated, with revelations and calls for reimbursement by the Auditor General, Odysseas Michaelides.

The issue began when the University of Cyprus found itself at the center of the controversy, allegedly making overtime payments to Doxa Komodromou. The controversy arose due to claims by AKEL MP, Christos Christofides, that the Presidential Council had instructed the University to make these overtime payments in addition to her regular salary.

Concerns over this directive prompted a swift request for a budget allocation to reimburse the University by the Presidency. This request aimed to ensure the continuation of salary and overtime payments while avoiding public scrutiny. The abrupt closure of the matter has raised suspicions of an attempt to keep the truth hidden.

To address the issue, it will be brought before the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, where Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides is expected to provide insight into the situation.

Notably, the initially requested remuneration for Ms. Doxa Komodromou for the period of March 2023 to December 2023 has been reduced to €41,758, down from the initial request of €51,795 which sparked the overtime pay scandal.

During a session of the Finance Committee, Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides revealed that Ms. Doxa Komodromou had already received €2,486 labeled as "overtime" for the months of March, April, and May, along with 11 days of "time off." He emphasized the need for her to reimburse this amount, and any further claims for €10,000 in overtime should be based on this repayment.

In a surprising twist, the Presidential Council is withdrawing its request for the payment of extra hours. Michaelides pointed out that Ms. Komodromou does not "punch a card" at the Presidential Office, suggesting that no request for "overtime" payment should have been initiated. While she performs duties akin to a state officer, she does not officially hold a state position.

In a surprising twist, the Auditor General has stated that Ms. Komodromou should withdraw her request for overtime payment because according to Michaelidesn she does not "punch a timecard" at the Presidential Office, suggesting that no request for "overtime" payment should have been initiated. While she performs duties akin to a state officer, she does not officially hold a state position.

Michaelides suggested that the most appropriate course of action for Ms. Komodromou would be to resign from her role at Cyprus University, where she holds an official position. He underscored that the "double-shirt" situation creates complications, especially when an employee of the University is performing the duties of a deputy government representative.

Regarding the €2,486 in overtime pay already received by Ms. Komodromou, it was paid by the University of Cyprus under a special request from the President's office, lacking sufficient justification. Michaelides noted that if this sum is returned to the University of Cyprus, the matter will be considered closed. A letter from the Ministry of Finance dated September 13, 2023, stated that €10,037 had been deducted from the release of Ms. Komodromou's salary. She has a secondment agreement from the University of Cyprus, where she holds a position, and has been assigned duties at the President's Office.

Ms. Komodromou's salary at the University of Cyprus is on the A8 scale, amounting to approximately €2,100 in gross salary.

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