Sinn Féin TD for Waterford and member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane said that the level of debt and the management of conflicts of interests at Waterford Institute of Technology are issues that need to be addressed as a matter of priority.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“I have recently received a number of protected disclosures regarding WIT and, if valid, they raise significant concerns regarding the institute. Its accounts show that it is in debt to the tune of €15 million
“These figures, however, are almost three years old as the Institute has not filed its return for 2015. It is at present the only Institute of Technology that has not filed a return for that year.
“It is worrying given the level of debt within the Institute and the ongoing problems it has with funding from the HEA and from student fees.
“We also have the ongoing issue of the management of conflicts of interests at WIT. There were, and still are, conflicts of interests surrounding the current President, who maintains that they are being managed.
“My concern is the matrix of conflicts of interests raises worries as to whether they can be effectively managed. There has already been an internal review into this issue and we learned today that WIT has conceded to an external review of that internal review. I have written to the HEA seeking clarity on the terms of reference of this new review. It is important that the interests of Waterford and the Institute are protected at all times.”