Ac­tion be­ing taken after is­sues were raised in 2015 au­dit of train­ing board


THE KIL­DARE AND Wick­low Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Board (KWETB) says it will co-op­er­ate fully with a spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion into is­sues re­lat­ing to pub­lic pro­cure­ment and the dis­posal of as­sets

Richard Thorn, pres­i­dent emer­i­tus of Sligo IT, has been ap­pointed to carry out the in­ves­ti­ga­tion after is­sues were raised in 2015 au­dit.

A SPE­CIAL in­ves­ti­ga­tion into how the Kil­dare and Wick­low Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Board (KWETB) con­ducts its busi­ness is be­ing car­ried out.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion will be led by Richard Thorn, Pres­i­dent Emer­i­tus of Sligo Institute of Tech­nol­ogy, and will fo­cus on KWETB’s per­for­mance, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing pub­lic pro­cure­ment, usage and dis­posal of as­sets and pro­pri­ety mat­ters.

The ac­tion has been taken fol­low­ing is­sues raised in an 2015 au­dit of KWETB’s op­er­a­tion by the Con­troller and Au­di­tor General and sub­se­quent cor­re­spon­dence be­tween the Depart­ment and the ETB.

In a state­ment, the KWETB said: ‘We will fully co­op­er­ate, en­gage mean­ing­fully and work with Mr Richard Thorn and in ac­cor­dance with the terms of ref­er­ence for in­ves­ti­ga­tion as in­structed by the Min­is­ter Bru­ton.’

KWETB added that un­til such time as the fi­nal re­port is is­sued, they won’t be in a po­si­tion to com­ment any fur­ther.

KWETB em­ploys over 2,500 staff across coun­ties Kil­dare and Wick­low. They also pro­vide ser­vices to over 23,000 stu­dents, trainees and learn­ers each year and have a fi­nan­cial turnover of €116 mil­lion per an­num.

The Con­troller and Au­di­tor General brought a num­ber of is­sues to the at­ten­tion of the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills in the course of an au­dit of KWETB’s fi­nan­cial state­ments for 2015. The Depart­ment then sought re­sponses from KWETB to the is­sues raised.

Hav­ing con­sid­ered the is­sues raised by the Con­troller and Au­di­tor General and the sub­se­quent cor­re­spon­dence be­tween the Depart­ment and the ETB, Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills, Richard Bru­ton, ap­pointed an in­ves­ti­ga­tor to carry out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the per­for­mance by the board of its func­tions.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion will cover the ac­cess to and usage of an ETB rented prop­erty by a com­pany re­ferred to in the au­dit and the busi­ness case for the in­tended use of the rented prop­erty and any im­pact on its un­avail­abil­ity for this in­tended use.

Also un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion is the op­er­a­tion and use of a pool of ve­hi­cles, as well as the sale of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle and the time­lines in re­la­tion to the de­ci­sion to dis­pose of the ve­hi­cle, the as­sess­ment of its value, the date of sale, the sup­port­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion in re­la­tion to the sale and the time­li­ness of re­ceipt of the pro­ceeds.

Other mat­ters that will be looked into in­clude the ten­der as­sess­ment process in re­la­tion to the draw­down of a con­tract re­ferred to in the au­dit and the se­quence of events and the na­ture of the par­tic­u­lar prob­lems that gave rise to claims for ad­di­tional pay­ments on a build­ing project also ref­er­enced in the au­dit.

It is en­vis­aged that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion process will be com­pleted by March 2018.

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