Universities face criticism over use of public funds

Serious concerns about the way many third-level colleges spend taxpayers’ money were set out in a report about to be published by the Dáil Committee of Public Accounts, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.

The report is highly critical of several universities that have resisted declaring tens of millions of euros from private trusts and foundations in their accounts, despite pressure from regulators, according to well-informed sources. It also raises concerns about unauthorised severance payments worth hundreds of thousands of euros, widespread non-compliance with procurement rules and significant financial losses linked to mismanagement.

The report also raises doubt about the Higher Education Authority’s capacity to oversee the sector, in the absence of sufficient staff numbers or resources. A key area of concern relates to potential conflicts of interest among senior staff in third-level colleges who are shareholders in spin-out companies.
Full report on The Irish Times site