11 May 2022, 17.00
The Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) will meet tomorrow, Thursday, 12 May, with representatives of the University of Limerick (UL) to examine its 2020 Financial Statements. Ul will be led by the President, Professor Kirsten Mey. The Chancellor, Ms Mary Harney, and the Chief Financial Performance Officer, Mr Gary Butler, will also be in attendance.
The meeting at 9.30am in Committee Room 3 of Leinster House will be joined by representatives from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and the Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr Seamus McCarthy. The C&AG has drawn attention to the following matters:
(i) Non-compliant procurement;
(ii) Purchase of site for city campus;
(iii) Override control; and
(iv) President's remuneration.
During the afternoon session, beginning at 1.30pm, the Committee will consider correspondence and other business of the Committee.
PAC Cathaoirleach Deputy Brian Stanley said: “The University of Limerick is a public research institution and one of Ireland’s five-star rated universities. It has some 2,100 employees and caters for 17,000 students for undergraduate and postgraduate studies across a range of disciplines. UL’s annual accounts are certified by the C&AG and thus fall under the remit of the PAC.
“While the C&AG certified the accounts with an unqualified audit opinion, he also drew attention to a number of issues that were disclosed in the annual statement of governance. These are a significant level of procurement non-compliance, the ongoing investigation of concerns raised about the purchase in 2019 of a former Dunnes Stores site for UL’s city centre campus, the finding from an external investigation in relation to HR and procurement issues, and an agreement with a former UL President in relation to his resignation.
“The C&AG has highlighted some serious governance issues and the Committee looks forward to examining these, UL’s 2020 financial statements and related matters with Professor Mey, who is the Accountable Person to the Committee of Public Accounts, and her colleagues.”
The meeting in Committee Room 3 can be viewed live on Oireachtas TV.
PAC is a standing committee of Dáil Éireann which focuses on ensuring public services are run efficiently and achieve value for money. Further information on the role and remit of the Committee can be found here.
Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.