University staff paid millions in unsanctioned bonuses

A DAMNING report on the university sector has exposed a widespread culture of profligacy in which senior staff awarded themselves millions in unsanctioned bonuses.

The Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on Resource Management and Performance in Irish Universities shows that University College Dublin was one of the worst offenders.

The university overpaid the role of president by more than €150,000 between 2004 and 2007.

In 2007 alone, the president was overpaid by €50,000, the registrar by €21,000 and the bursar by €47,000.

“In response to my enquiries in regard to the president’s remuneration the university stated that Revenue-approved allowances had been paid to the president representing the grossed-up value of non-vouched expenses and which, according to UCD, pertained elsewhere in the public sector at the time,” the C&AG said.

In a further sign of the profligacy at UCD, the report found that between October 2006 and September 2007 over €1m was paid in allowances to other senior staff, even though they had not been sanctioned by Government. Between 2005 and 2008, €265,000 was paid to senior staff in “bonus payments”.

Other universities also emerge in the report as having made unapproved payments to staff. At UCC more than €150,000 was paid in senior management allowances not sanctioned by the relevant authorities.

Between 2000 and 2007, NUIG paid additional allowances totalling €396,982 to its president, registrar and deputy president and the bursar.

At the University of Limerick & in 2007 and 2008 there were three people paid at the same time on the presidential scale.

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