County Cork VEC has been subjected to a far deeper probe of its tax affairs than previously thought.
In January, County Cork VEC (CCVEC) revealed it had offered a settlement with the Revenue Commissioners arising out of a failure to pay PAYE and PRSI.
This was linked to accounting failures detected at a youthreach centre in Macroom, where ineligible students were paid allowances and staff received money for classes they did not teach.
However, it has now emerged that following an opening offer by CCVEC in October, Revenue ordered a root and branch review of its entire operation.
Revenue told CCVEC it had 60 days to audit all payments processed by schools and centres in the county for the years 2010, 2011, and 2012, as well as all money processed by its headquarters in Ballincollig.
This resulted in a second settlement by CCVEC in January. It is not known what the amounts involved were in either offer.
CCVEC has recently told the Department of Education its offer is still being reviewed by Revenue.
Councillor Humphrey Deegan, who first reported the issues to Revenue, said as far as he was concerned, the existence of a deeper tax audit had not been brought to the attention of committee members.
It has also now emerged an additional youthreach centre has been the focus of particular scrutiny.
The inquiry into Ballincollig youthreach began in 2011 following concerns about cash purchases.
Auditors found that cash sums had not been properly recorded, cash was used to pay for services without authorisation, and fuel was bought on the centre’s account but no registration details were kept on the vehicles filled up.
There was also issues with the recording of cash paid by customers of the crèche attached to the facility.
As a result, the centre’s bank account was frozen and its fuel card stopped.
In May 2011, management of CCVEC met with the centre’s coordinator, Eric McNally, but he subsequently went on sick leave and the inquiry was put on hold. It has not recommenced and an acting coordinator has been running the centre.
Mr McNally was contacted yesterday but he said he was still on sick leave and did not have any comment to make.
Chairman of Ballincollig youthreach, Councillor Donal O’Rourke, was also contacted but he did not comment.
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