independent

Tuesday 21 October 2014

VEC tightlipped about Macroom cost over-runs

YOUTHREACH STUDENTS AND STAFF OVERPAID

JOE LEOGUE

Published 06/12/2012 | 12:24

COUNTY Cork VEC (CCVEC) is remaining tight lipped about the latest reports to plague Macroom Youthreach.

Earlier this week it emerged that CCVEC has conceded that trainees at the Mid Cork centre were given €115,871 worth of allowances they were not entitled to and that staff were overpaid.

The figure comes as a result of CCVEC's own review into management at the educational centre, following an independent audit by the Vocational Support Services Unit ( VSSU).

Documents released to Irish Examiner journalist Conor Ryan reveal that: - The centre paid four trainees higher travel allowances for transporting other students to the centre in their cars, a practice described in the audit as 'unusual'. - There were no procedures in place to ensure bonus payments were paid correctly. - There were no procedures in place to ensure that meal and travel allowances were not paid in respect of absences. - Teachers were, in some cases, paid without deductions for PRSI or PAYE.

With respect to the planned parttime teacher hours submitted and paid for by the VEC, the audit found that there were 'significant variances' between teacher hours submitted and timetabled hours.

"I estimate that the VEC overpaid 1,070 tutor hours which were not timetabled for these teachers," the auditor noted.

This week The Corkman asked Joan Russell, acting CEO of CCVEC what actions CCVEC has taken arising from the findings of the audit and if CCVEC has held any member of its staff or of Macroom Youthreach accountable for the overpayment to teachers and students.

Ms Russell has yet to reply to these queries at time of going to press.

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