Third-level institutions and public funds


Sir, – The Higher Education Authority has suggested fining third-level institutes where they breach public pay guidelines or don’t engage in proper tendering for contracts (“Colleges face penalties for misusing taxpayers’ money”, July 14th).

Third-level institutes don’t breach procurement rules or pay guidelines, individual decision-making managers do.

Reducing the amount of money available to an institute for services or courses will simply hit students with a loss of course availability or services and does nothing to change the mindset of managers who aren’t personally affected one iota by a fine on the college or institute. Neither their pay nor their pension entitlements are affected.

Surely it would make more sense to fine the actual person or persons or committee that make the decision not to comply with State requirements on pay or procurement requirements. The decision-maker is the one who should suffer for failing to act with prudence with the State’s money.

A personal fine would focus their minds very quickly.

By failing to make individuals responsible, we allow them to be irresponsible. – Yours, etc,


Bagenalstown, Co Carlow.