Friday 22 September 2017

€2m bill for investigating UL claims

The review under Dr Richard Thorn - following two earlier reports commissioned by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which cost nearly €80,000 - will examine governance, human resources, and financial practices. Stock picture
The review under Dr Richard Thorn - following two earlier reports commissioned by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which cost nearly €80,000 - will examine governance, human resources, and financial practices. Stock picture
Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

Costs to the State after investigations into a series of allegations of misconduct at the University of Limerick and the payment of confidential severance packages to former staff now amount to nearly €2m.

The new president of UL, Dr Desmond Fitzgerald, has said that an apology from the institution to some former staff may be warranted pending a new review into the allegations.

The review under Dr Richard Thorn - following two earlier reports commissioned by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which cost nearly €80,000 - will examine governance, human resources, and financial practices.

Two employees in the finance department remain suspended for two years on full pay this month, having expressed concerns in relation to its financial processes. Dr Fitzgerald said that he is willing to meet the whistleblowers, pending the advice of Dr Thorn.

Dr Fitzgerald is anxious for UL to rebuild its trust with State bodies, including the HEA and the Department of Education and Skills, after earlier calls for a full inquiry were opposed by UL prior to him taking office at the beginning of May.

Irish Independent

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