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Governance, Transparency, and Value-For-Money Key Issues For Third Level Institutes - Cullinane

11 July, 2017 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane TD has today welcomed the publication of the committee's report into the third level sector, saying that key issues need to be addressed.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Deputy Cullinane said:

"We heard strong evidence that there are problems with the commercialisation of intellectual property at our higher level institutions, particularly the level of reinvestment that occurs as a result of this process.

"There needs to be put in place a system to monitor and quantify research funds supplied to the institutions by the State. This is taxpayer’s money and there needs to be a return that is fair and sustainable.

"We also saw issues regarding public procurement and outsourcing. This is something that comes up time and again at the PAC and our report recommends that a value for money business case should always be prepared in advance of significant outsourcing proposals.

"The HEA needs to take more of a hands-on approach with regard to the institutions.

"Given the substantial amount of public funds allocated on an annual basis to the third-level education sector, the HEA should be more proactive in ensuring we are getting value-for-money here.

"The recent RTE Investigates into the higher education sector shows that now is not a time for complacency.

"Our higher institutions do a good job under difficult circumstances, and this needs to be acknowledged, but at the same time we have to also acknowledge that the public interest is a valid interest.

"Good governance, transparency and openness with the HEA, the PAC and the office of the C&AG is the way forward."


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