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Public Accounts Committee criticises corporate goverance at NUI Galway

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – NUI Galway has been heavily criticised by the Dáils Public Accounts Committee over a ‘major failure’ in corporate governance at the university.
It’s as the PAC has published its report into the financial accounts of seven third level institutions nationwide.
The PAC report focuses on the financial accounts of seven third-level institutions across Ireland – NUI Galway, Dublin IT, University College Cork, Cork IT, the University of Limerick, Waterford IT and Dundalk IT.
It’s described by committee Chairman Deputy Sean Fleming as a vital tool in ensuring bodies funded by the taxpayer are held publicly accountable for their spending.
The report highlights a lack of transparency over the way money is spent at some of the institutions under scrutiny – as well as failures in corporate goverance.
The report criticises NUI Galway for delays of more than two years in providing up-to-date certified accounts.
It describes the situation as grave – and says it’s unacceptable that NUI Galway is continuing to receive state funding with records that are years out of date.
It says the delay in presenting accounts is a major failure of corporate goverance and must be regularised immediatey.
Also raised is the use of, and accounting for, foundations and trust funds – with NUI Galway having a foundation balance of almost €60 million as of June 2014.
This is the largest such fund of all the institutions examined by a significant margain – and the report notes a significant overlap of membership between institutions boards and the boards of the foundations associated with those institutions.
During 2013, NUI Galway also spent over 1 million euro on non-competitive tender contracts which are described as posing a significant risk to value for money.
The report further raises issues over the cost of temporary staff, on which the university spent almost 2.3 million euro during 2015 alone.
The PAC report puts forward a list of recommendations for all seven universities examined – including much faster filing of accounts, better compliance with procurement guidelines and greater liason with the Higher Education Authority.

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Junior Heritage Minister to visit Connemara National Park

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Junior Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan will visit Connemara National Park tomorrow for a number of engagements.

Minister Noonan will visit the National Park Visitor Centre in Letterfrack at 11.30 tomorrow morning

He will meet the staff and then launch the Cladoir Sheep Conservation Project.

Cladoir, or ‘shore dweller’ sheep, were believed extinct in 1995, but the NPWS has worked with local farmers and Teagasc to regenerate the breed.

They have assembled 56 of the remaining Cladoir. The Minister will also view Tamworth Pigs and Irish Moiled cattle.

Connemara National Park receives over 200,000 visitors a year, and the Minister will also view proposed capital infrastructure projects, visit Newfoundland Wood, and view archaeological sites of importance.

Sean Cadden and Tom King, joint chairpersons of the Cladoir Sheep Preservation Committee, and Chief Archaeologist with the National Monuments Service Michael MacDonagh will accompany Minister Noonan

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New County Cathaoirleach Peter Keaveney says more council funding is key priority

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The new Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council Peter Keaveney says securing more funding for the local authority is a key priority for his year in office

The Ballinasloe area Fine Gael Councillor has just been elected, under an established voting pact, at the county council AGM being held in Glenamaddy this afternoon

He’ll succeed Athenry-Oranmore area Independent Councillor James Charity in the chair

Cathaoirleach Keaveney spoke to our reporter Paul Hyland just after his election – tune in on the hour to hear what he has to say

Meanwhile, a new Mayor of Galway will be elected later this afternoon, also through an established voting pact

Independent City Central Councillor Mike Cubbard, will hand over his chains of office at the AGM of Galway City Council being held in Leisureland this afternoon at 4.

It’s expected he’ll be succeeded in the role by his constituency colleague, Independent Councillor Collette Connolly.

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New Mayor of Galway and new County Cathaoirleach to be elected this afternoon

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A new Mayor of Galway and a new County Cathaoirleach will both be elected this afternoon at two separate events, and both will be elected through established voting pacts

It’s expected Ballinasloe area Fine Gael Councillor Peter Keaveney will be elected Cathaoirleach at the AGM of Galway County Council in Glenamaddy in the next hour

He’ll succeed Athenry-Oranmore area Independent Councillor James Charity in the chair

Meanwhile, Mayor of Galway, Independent City Central Councillor Mike Cubbard, will hand over his chains of office at the AGM of Galway City Council being held in Leisureland this afternoon at 4.

It’s expected he’ll be succeeded in the role by his constituency colleague, Independent Councillor Collette Connolly.

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