Universities to be penalised for staff salary top-ups

Universities that topped up the salaries of senior staff to the tune of €8 million (US$10 million) over a six-year period are being punished, writes Katherine Donnelly for the Irish Independent.

The ‘unauthorised’ allowances were paid between June 2005 and February 2011, without getting the required approval of the education minister. The full €8 million cost – detailed in a new report from the public spending comptroller and auditor general – is higher than previously thought. Now, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) is in detailed discussions with the universities about recouping the money.

Colleges are also being asked to provide money out of their own resources to cover certain student services, rather than getting it from the HEA. Discussions are centred on whether the colleges pay the money back to the HEA, which would hold it for certain purposes, or ‘ring-fence’ it themselves and use it as appropriate.
Full report on the Irish Independent site