€220k Irish loss over library firm collapse
A number of Irish universities, three institutes of technology, a government department and public sector bodies including the HSE, National Museum of Ireland and Dublin City library lost a total of €220,000 after a UK-based library-subscription service went into administration.
The full extent of Irish losses suffered as a result of the collapse of library-subscription service SWETS, which went bust in 2014, was disclosed at a recent meeting of the Dail Public Accounts Committee. SWETS collected academic journals from around the world and offered universities access for a fee.
It was previously revealed that DIT was the worst-hit, with €718,000 lost in pre-paid subscriptions. But a UK administrator's report into Swets UK includes a full list of creditors and identifies the total losses suffered by other Irish academic institutions and organisations.
Institute of Technology Carlow was the second-biggest victim, suffering a €40,500 loss. UCC lost €27,813. Dublin City Public Library lost €23,448. The National Museum of Ireland lost €23,362 and Trinity College €22,152. The HSE is listed as having lost €20,599. The Department of the Environment suffered a €14,000 loss.
The PAC was told that "the loss incurred due to the SWETS Information Services bankruptcy was unprecedented in the history of DIT".
Higher Education Authority chiefs informed the committee that the financial loss suffered by DIT was absorbed in the year by the institute's reserves and that the losses forced a range of cost-cutting measures which did not impact on student services.
"In the intervening two-and-a-half years, DIT has succeeded in restoring its financial position and has put in place a number of additional safeguards in relation to supplier contracts," the PAC was told.
Sunday Indo Business