On RTÉ One’s RTÉ Investigates.
At a time when colleges are seeking additional funding from government and students are facing increased fees, RTÉ Investigates has discovered some third level facilities are wasting public money and failing to protect the taxpayer.
…For the past 12 months RTÉ Investigates has, through FOI, collected data on more than 150,000 public spending transactions, involving billions of euro undertaken by government departments, public bodies, agencies etc.
Tuesday night’s RTÉ Investigates programme focuses on the third level sector which has an annual spend in the region of €2.8 billion.
RTÉ Investigates discovered significant findings related to a number of colleges including UCC, DIT, UL and NUIG.
Under the Universities Act 1997, universities here enjoy a significant level of independence. Oversight of universities and the third level sector in general is the responsibility of the HEA, the Higher Education Authority and in turn the Department of Education & Science.
However, repeated attempts by the HEA to examine the management of universities and their financial affairs have met with stiff resistance, with the universities claiming autonomy under the legislation, thus stifling any examination or investigation.
The Comptroller and Auditor General has also been examining the finances of a number of universities with varying degrees of success. Many of the universities have separate trusts or foundations, which hold millions of euro in assets which the universities do not declare as part of their financial accounts.
Thanks Laura Fitzgerald
— Laura Fitzgerald (@Laura_Fitzer) May 23, 2017