Bairbre Redmond, the deputy Registrar in UCD was paid €1,500 a day for a plagiarism report she undertook for GMIT it can be revealed.
The report, commissioned by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology ran on for over three years, and racked up a final cost of €430,000 by 2013. The report’s scale and large expenditure was questioned by the Public Accounts Committee of the Dáil late last year.
The report was commissioned to look into an issue regarding plagiarism by a student, and the subsequent actions of a lecturer in dealing with the issue. Yet it was then never published by GMIT, after being shown to the college President and a sub-committee of several members from the college governing authority. For her role in compiling the report alongside a second investigators and barrister Ed Madden, Redmond received €63,278. Bairbre Redmond is the deputy Registrar of UCD and the Dean of undergraduate studies.
“For her role in compiling the report … Redmond received €63,278”
The report was heavily criticised by the Dáil Public Accounts Committee, and Jim Fennell, the vice-President for Finance of GMIT was brought before the committee to answer questions on the report late last year. Fennell when called before the Dáil committee to answer questions said “it was not envisaged that the investigation would require the level of input it did, resulting in costs of €436,061 being incurred.”
Fennell said the report was allowed to become a runaway train as the GMIT college President could not be seen to attempt to impede its work to shut it down. “As the matters under investigation related to an alleged cover-up by the institute, it was important to protect the independence of the investigation and it was not appropriate for GMIT to influence the conduct of the investigation or to terminate it.”
The report was to investigate an incident of plagiarism by a Masters student in GMIT, and subsequent actions taking by a lecturer in procuring restricted material for the student. As a result of the report the GMIT head of finance Fennell confirmed to the Dáil committee that the lecturer in question was moved to a different position, with a reduced salary after the report.
Ed Madden, Ms Redmond’s co-investigator it is believed received €217,890 for his role in the report, as it is understood he logged considerably more days work in compiling the report (at a rate of €1,500 a day) than Ms Redmond. The report was commissioned in 2011, and was only finalised by 2013, as during this time the two investigators were not working full time on the report. Redmond, the UCD management official, agreed to finish the final portion of the report on a pro-bono (free) basis, after repeated requests from the GMIT President outlining concerns over the mounting cost.
Commenting on the report Tom Boland, CEO of the Higher Education Authority said it was an “absolute fundamental mistake that there was not a process put in place to control both the length and cost of the inquiry.”
Jack Power | Editor