Concerns raised over spending issues at DIT subsidiary

An Chéim’s board conducted ‘forensic analysis’ of services provided to tech company

An Chéim was established as a subsidiary company of DIT  to provide a range of IT services to institutes of technology.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

An Chéim was established as a subsidiary company of DIT to provide a range of IT services to institutes of technology. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

DIT’s governing body has expressed concern over procurement and spending issues relating to a subsidiary of the college which was established to provide computer services to institutes of technology.

An Chéim was established as a subsidiary company of DIT at the request of education authorities to provide a range of IT services to the sector.

Members of DIT’s governing body, however, have expressed concern over corporate governance and procurement issues flagged in a review carried out by An Chéim’s board.

The company is in the process of being wound up and has been replaced by a company called EduCampus Computer Services Ltd, which continues to provide these services to the sector.

Due diligence

As part of the due diligence associated with the wind-up, the company board completed a wide-ranging review of procurement, contracts and expenditure.

This resulted in a “forensic analysis” of the nature of services provided to An Chéim, as well as an investigation to determine if these were appropriate if any individuals benefited unduly.

It is understood that these investigations concluded that while proper procedures were not followed in some instances, there was no evidence of any impropriety or misuse of funds.

Members of DIT’s governing body, however, have expressed concern at some of the details and have requested sight of any investigation reports.

In a statement, DIT confirmed that the board of An Chéim has completed a review of procurement, contracts and expenditure at the organisation.

Audited

It said staff and contracts have now transferred to EduCampus, and all financial accounts have been audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

“A liquidator is in the process of being appointed and it is envisaged that the company will be wound up through a members’ voluntary liquidation by the end of this year,” the DIT spokeswoman added.

An Chéim was directly funded by the Higher Education Authority and had a board of directors which was chaired variously by a president or senior manager of an institute of technology, with representation of the Department of Education, DIT and the institute of technology sector.

An Chéim procured and managed substantial contracts with a range of providers to deliver its services which included student registration, library software, payroll services, data hosting and other services to institutes of technology.