Pipers, Tunes and Payment in the Higher Education Sector

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Recent discussion on university funding has been on the basis of the Public Accounts Committee report. This, along with the RTÉ Prime-time Investigates program, has led to a perception of a state funded sector out of financial control. Both of these are wrong …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 24 July]

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CIT president already being paid €78k annual pension

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The president of Cork Institute of Technology has been paid €227,956 in a pension lump sum and an annual pension of €78,315 from the college despite still occupying the post, the Public Accounts Committee has been told. The college has also revealed it was involved in 20 legal cases in ‘matters related to staff issues’ despite previously telling the Irish Examiner it was not involved in any cases …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 19 July]

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Third Level Investigator ‘welcome move’ – Cullinane

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane TD today welcomed the announcement of new powers to appoint investigators to look into Irish universities. Deputy Cullinane said …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 18 July]

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Colleges to face fines if accounts not shown

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Managers of colleges which fail to give up-to-date accounts or explain how much money they have in private trusts and foundations by the next budget should be hit with significant financial penalties and fines. The Dáil Public Accounts Committee made the recommendation at the launch of its damning report into the sector’s secret finances yesterday, saying options could include cuts or blocking of board of governor salaries …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 12 July]

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Third level colleges accused of ‘wild west’ approach to use of taxpayers’ money

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Senior staff in some third-level colleges have been accused of taking a ‘wild west’ approach to the use of taxpayers’ money. The claims were made by members of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee following the publication of its report into the financial accounts of a sample of seven third-level institutions …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 July]
[The report is here]

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Greater transparency in management of third-level accounts called for – PAC report

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called for greater transparency in the management of the financial accounts of third-level colleges. It comes in a hard-hitting PAC report that is critical of how colleges spend public funds and run aspects of their affairs …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 July]

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IFUT criticises ‘banana republic’ behaviour of universities on their accounts

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has said that new information on how universities manage their accounts suggests a ‘banana republic’ style approach to accounting and called for full transparency in spending by universities …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 11 July]

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Universities Face Serious Criticism, with Dáil Committee Raising Concerns in Report into Financial Management

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In a report that names some of Ireland’s largest universities and colleges, due to be published today by the Dáil’s public accounts committee, serious doubts will be raised about the use of state money by Ireland’s higher education institutions …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 11 July]

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University audits touted over lack of clarity

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A review of college and university finances may be needed due to a lack of transparency in accounts, alleged commercial conflicts of interest, and concerns over where vital funds end up. The Dáil Public Accounts Committee will make the claim in a report to be published today, which will call on colleges to publish audited accounts within six months of a year ending and release details of linked private foundation funds …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 11 July]

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Universities face severe criticism over use of public funds

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Serious concerns about the way many third-level colleges spend taxpayers’ money will be set out in a report to be published by the Dáil Committee of Public Accounts today. The report is highly critical of several universities that have resisted declaring tens of millions of euro from private trusts and foundations in their accounts, despite pressure from regulators, according to well-informed sources …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 July]

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‘Serious’ concerns over CIT and ITT merger revealed

Posted in Governance and administration on July 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“‘Serious and widely held’ concerns about the proposed merger between Cork Institute of Technology and IT Tralee were voiced by board members of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) as far back as 2014, newly released board minutes reveal. The proposed Munster Technogical University (MTU) is under investigation by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Dáil spending watchdog …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 10 July]

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Dáil committee seeks clarity on CIT financial matters

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has been asked by members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to clear up contradictions on a number of financial matters relating to expenses, fees to directors and private companies linked to the college …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 29 June]

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RTÉ stands over university spending probe

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“RTÉ is standing over an investigation on spending and governance at third-level colleges as it prepares responses to complaints from two universities. University College Cork and NUI Galway have submitted complaints over its May 25 RTÉ Investigates programme, Universities Unchallenged …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 24 June]

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University president admits ‘best practice’ not used in €1m payout

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The new president of the University of Limerick (UL), Dr Des Fitzgerald, has apologised for ‘inaccurate’ information previously provided to politicians by a senior UL official. He yesterday gave full details of the total value of the payments made to two staff members between 2012 and 2015 at €1.15m. These included severance payments, pension lump sums and consultancy agreements, plus annual pensions of €58,000 and €54,600 a year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 23 June]

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UL president ‘will not hesitate’ on any breach

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University of Limerick (UL) president Des Fitzgerald says he will not hesitate to take action if a number of ongoing probes uncover any breaches of conduct rules by staff or directors. After his appointment last month, Prof Fitzgerald sought the external inquiry to examine a range of issues as he wants to restore the university’s reputation …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 23 June]

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University of Limerick may have to repay €450k deal

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick (UL) could be forced to repay part of the €450,000 paid in severance to two former managers who were rehired as consultants, TDs have been told. The Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also heard about the concerns of the Department of Education and Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) Seamus McCarthy that UL may not have given them full details of the 2012 deals …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 23 June]

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University of Limerick President to engage with whistleblowers following review

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The President of the University of Limerick says he will deal ‘sympathetically’ with two whistleblowers who have been suspended for more than two years following the conclusion of an independent review into governance, HR and financial practices at the university …” (more, video)

[David Hurley, Limerick Leader, 22 June]

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Universities accused of ‘misleading’ Dáil committee over financial affairs

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University officials have been accused of misleading an Oireachtas committee over the way they run their financial affairs. Senior officials from colleges including University of Limerick, DIT and University College Cork appeared before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee on Thursday to answer allegations over unauthorised severance packages, conflicts of interest and poor corporate governance …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 June]

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Severance payments to UL staff ‘unacceptably high’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The President of the University of Limerick has told an Oireachtas committee that severance payments given to staff were ‘unacceptably high’. Des Fitzgerald said that since his appointment he has called for an independent review of the university and that his concern is to protect the reputation of the institution …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 22 June]

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DIT president ordered to show report on lost €700,000

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The governing body of Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) has ordered its president to provide an unpublished report which is highly critical of senior managers for serious failures in financial governance to the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The move comes as senior officials from DIT and other third-level colleges appear before the committee Thursday to face allegations that they misled TDs over the way they run their financial affairs …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 June]

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