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Reg Empey must act on Auditor’s report into Further Education sector

25 March, 2009

Sinn Fein’s Further Education spokesperson Paul Butler has said that Reg Empey needs to act on the findings of the Auditor’s report into the financial management of further education colleges.  The Minister must ensure that the substantial amounts of public money going into the further education sector are not squandered but are invested in delivering a world class skilled workforce.

Paul Butler said: 

‘The relationship between the Department of Employment and Learning and further education colleges must be looked at in the wake of this report.  Over £170 million of public money was given to Further Education colleges in 2006-07 yet the further education sector is run as an autonomous sector independent of the Department of Employment and Learning and beyond the control of the Minister.’

Paul Butler continued

‘This report clearly shows that the Department of Employment and Learning and the Minister have failed to monitor how public money was administered by FE colleges. It also reveals that they were prepared to leave it to colleges to sort out the problem.’

‘There is an onus on the Minister to address this issue as a matter of urgency.  Millions of pounds of public money are being given by the Department of Employment and Learning to these colleges with the Minister having no say or control as to how it is administered.’

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