Thursday, 27 October 2016
Department of Education and Skills
67. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the action his Department will take to deal with the serious issues raised in relation to corporate governance and HR at the University of Limerick (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32373/16]
69. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when a detailed response from UL to the Mazars report is expected; when questions (details supplied) will be answered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32376/16]
70. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether it is reasonable that after 16 months and having been vindicated by the Mazars review, two staff members are still suspended; his views on this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32377/16]
71. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the events outlined in the Mazars report indicate proper governance and accountability at the public institution in question; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32378/16]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 67 and 69 to 71, inclusive, together.
Following publication of the Mazars review of the process employed by the University of Limerick (UL) to inquire into allegations made by a number of individuals, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) met with the University to request a full response and an action plan to address the recommendations in the review.
The response from UL was received by the HEA in March 2016 and set out a range of actions to be progressed in response to the recommendations. I have been informed by the HEA that most of the recommendations have been implemented and that they are working closely with the University to ensure that any remaining actions are progressed.
Since the conclusion of the Mazars review the HEA appointed a facilitator to explore the options and see if a basis could be found for a resolution to the dispute.
The HEA has recently submitted a copy of the facilitator's Report to the Department of Education and Skills and it is currently being considered. The issues in this case are complex and careful consideration will need to be given to the options available to reach a resolution.
My Department is continuing to work with the HEA in an effort to seek a resolution of the issues as speedily and appropriately as possible.