Universities behaving badly? Send in the clowns!

Posted in Legal issues on October 4th, 2012 by steve

“Some of the wits on Twitter have had fun with the announcement that Minister Ruairí Quinn plans new legislation to ban unauthorised university expenditure. Surely, they say, if expenditure is unauthorised, it’s already been banned, and no law is needed? …” (more)

[Steve Hedley, 9th Level Ireland, 4 October]

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The proposed legislation – quick summary

Posted in Legal issues on October 3rd, 2012 by steve

Comments on the Heads of the new Bill, after a quick read through.

The focus is on compliance with “a policy decision made by the Government or the Minister in so far it relates to the remuneration or numbers of public servants employed in that university, or a collective agreement entered into by the Government or the Minister”. Despite press reports, it doesn’t seem to refer to court orders as such. The powers now given to the Minister are:

1. To make a direction requiring compliance.

2. To send in an investigator to check on compliance, who will make a report.

3. On receipt of such a report, to make a specific direction to the institution reported on.

4. If the minister considers that there is non-compliance or “serious deficiencies” in the area, to transfer university functions in that area to the Minister’s nominee. (Not clear how this would work, as the rest of the university’s functions remain with the existing university officers.) This transfer can be for up to 2 years.

Not clear how the HEA is supposed to fit into this, though there is an express duty to consult before making a transfer of functions.

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Heads of new Universities Bill now available

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 3rd, 2012 by steve

“GENERAL SCHEME OF A UNIVERSITIES (AMENDMENT) BILL 2012: UNIVERSITIES (AMENDMENT) BILL 2012. Draft of a bill entitled An Act to Provide for the Amendment of The Universities Act 1997 and to Provide for Related Matters …” (more)

[DES, 3 October]

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Quinn plans new university pay law

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 3rd, 2012 by steve

“Universities have reacted angrily to Government plans that will make sure they never again give un-authorised bonuses to staff …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 3 October]

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Minister Quinn to introduce new legislation which will oblige universities to comply with government pay policy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 2nd, 2012 by steve

“The Minister for Education and Skills has secured government agreement for the drafting of an amendment to the Universities Act 1997. This amendment will give the Minister the power to require universities to comply with government guidelines on remuneration, allowances, pensions and staffing numbers in the University sector …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 2 October]

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