Comptroller and Auditor General’s office to report on UL audit

The University of Limerick campus

An audit which found that the University of Limerick provided inaccurate or incomplete information to a number of government bodies is to be the subject of a special report by the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The audit, which was carried out by Deloitte consultants, found that the university had provided inaccurate or incomplete information in relation to €1.2 million in severance payments, breaches in procurement policy and spending on study abroad schemes for staff.

None of the severance agreements examined in the audit had been approved by the Department of Education and the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General is to carry out a special report to establish if his office received misleading information.

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This latest report into financial and governance affairs at UL follows on an internal audit by the University and two further reports by former Sligo Institute of Technology President, Dr Richard Thorn.

Most of the issues raised in the original audit are expected to be considered in the new report.

UL has advised the Dáil Public Accounts Committee that of 42 recommendations made in the Deloitte audit, 17 have been implemented and 25 are currently in progress.

The C&AG report comes as the Higher Education Authority (HEA) says it will take no further action in relation to severance payments for former staff of UL.

The HEA said that it is satisfied so long as the university continues to implement the recommendations of the audit.

The committee was told by Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy that the report from his office is expected to be ready by summer but no specific date for publication is set as yet.

“My office is drafting a report at present. I expect to get it early next week and to review it and get it out to the university for a response. I anticipate it will certainly deal with most of those issues and perhaps all of them.

“We are probably looking at a period of two months to finalise it. I expect to have a report in May. It will then go to the Department, of course, and we will talk to the Department about getting it submitted as quickly as possible,” Mr McCarthy said

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