Inquiry launched by Minister to inspect finances in WIT

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is under inquiry by order of the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn over the relationship between WIT and the companies providing on-campus services.

This decision comes after the June report of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) which looked into third level spending. Dermot Quigley, former Chairman of the Revenue Commission, has been appointed by the Minister to oversee the inquiry.

The report found that financial accounts of Diverse Campus Services Ltd. (DCS) does not form part of the college’s accounts.
DCS was set up in 2001 to provide services on campus and oversees the six campus service companies at WIT and in June 2010 alone it recorded a profit of €2.12 million.

The inquiry will look into the financial relationship between campus service providers and Waterford Institute.

The report states that “transactions, assets and liabilities should be consolidated into college accounts in all cases where campus services are administered through companies.”

However the Minister for Education stressed this inquiry will not question the academic services provided by the college.

In correspondence with the Committee of Public Accounts WIT outlined changes they have put in place in order to deal with the matters raised in the C&AG report.

The Institute had already been questioned about its finances after the lavish spending of former President Professor Kieran Byrne, was brought to public attention.

Since 2001 the expenses of the presidential office has increased 20-fold over the eight years from €30,000 to €630,000.

The money reportedly went towards taxi companies, Public Relations firms and flowers. A flight chartered for one person from Waterford to Dublin which cost the college €4,200 has been recorded.

WIT has issued a statement agreeing with the report, saying they will fully cooperate in the inquiry.

Zofia Domaracka

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