Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (200)

Willie O'Dea


200. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a matter will be addressed regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46538/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, an independent review into the governance, HR and financial practices and procedures of the University referred to by the Deputy was undertaken in 2017. The findings of that review resulted in a number of recommendations for implementation by the University, some of which involved certain staff members, including the employee referred to by the Deputy.

Following publication of the review, my Department and the Higher Education Authority (HEA) have continued to monitor progress by the University to ensure full implementation of the specific recommendations. At a recent meeting with the University, it was advised that these recommendations have been implemented in full and consequently my Department is satisfied that the issues raised by the employee referred to have been fully investigated and addressed.

In relation to the specific case mentioned by the Deputy, it is the Department’s understanding that the employee has not been suspended by the University.

The issue to be resolved is a matter to be taken forward by the University engaging with the staff member, as it relates to an employer-employee relationship. Universities are autonomous bodies as set out in the Universities Act 1997 and they are responsible for their own day to day affairs, including the management of employment affairs. In that context, I understand that the University is still engaged in a process with the employee referred to.