Dáil committee seeks clarity on CIT financial matters

Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has been asked by members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to clear up contradictions on a number of financial matters relating to expenses, fees to directors and private companies linked to the college.

CIT is moving this week to clarify a number of what PAC members have called significant inconsistencies in evidence given by college bosses.

However, the college said some of the questions being raised by PAC members are based on “wrong assumptions”.

The Irish Examiner has learned that members of the PAC feel that testimony given to the committee by CIT at the most recent meeting was not correct and misleading in regard to financial matters at the college.

Specifically, CIT is being questioned on:

  • Claiming at the PAC that no college staff past or present are involved in subsidiary private companies, even though company records suggest otherwise;
  • Claiming no fee was paid to ex-president Dr Brendan Murphy for sitting on a board, even though a €12,000 fee for sitting on the board of Fás was paid even after a ban on such payments to existing civil servants was introduced;
  • Describing €825,000 as being spent on “buildings” in 2014 and 2015 but which was actually spent on “professional services”;
  • Explanations, after it emerged eight out of 10 sample expenses’ claims for entertainment were found to be in breach of college protocols.

At the PAC, the college was pressed by Labour TD Alan Kelly about a number of private companies which pay no rent to use facilities at the college and how they are run.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner , CIT said it is working on responding to the PAC on foot of specific questions posed by it and expects that those questions and answers will be made available to the pubic in due course.

CIT said there are a number of “incorrect assertions and inaccuracies in the questions” posed.

However, CIT does not intend to comment further on the matter until it has first responded in writing to the PAC, which it has been asked to do so by tomorrow.

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