Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 24 September 2015
Public Accounts Committee
Higher Education Authority: Financial Statements 2014
Mr. Seán Ó Foghlú:
Two sets of anonymous allegations were made to CIT. Following consultation with the Department the Higher Education Authority requested that those responsible in CIT investigate the matters. They did. They investigated them genuinely, but they were anonymous allegations so they had no one to check with about the allegations. Those responsible went through them. They were very wide-ranging. They reported that they have worked through all of them and that there is nothing of any major consequence.
We met jointly with the institute president and a senior member of staff. They reported to us on their work. We challenged them and they came back to us with further clarification. They have worked through, in what appears to us to be a genuine way, the allegations that have been made to them, which are anonymous and which they cannot seek to verify with anyone. Furthermore, they have a procedure in place whereby someone may make a disclosure on a confidential basis. They have a mechanism in place if someone within the institute wishes to make a confidential disclosure. Such a confidential disclosure, as far as we know, has not been made. Therefore, they have no way to verify or challenge the evidence underpinning the range of allegations.
They have gone about this in a genuine way. A considerable amount of their senior management time has gone into it and they have had to engage external people to undertake the investigation. That is the position as we see it.