Letter: Practice at LIPA

March 30, 2001

Phil Baty links two issues at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts: the recent Higher Education Funding Council for England/Liverpool John Moores University evaluation of our internal control systems and the resignation of a staff member (Whistleblowers, THES , March 23). He reports that the staff member left "in protest"; about what, exactly? Could it be the right of a board of directors to make a decision about internal restructuring after a report from external consultants to whom all staff had access?

Just 25 per cent of this staff member's time is given to LIPA. Had we not agreed to this, he would have left last summer before the restructuring.

It is not good practice to comment on a report before both parties agree accuracy. This is the sole reason for the concealment mentioned. Our board will publish once agreement has been reached, which is not common practice.

The piece implies that the institute cannot properly account for public funds. We are accountable to Companies House and the Charity Commission.

I did not notice Baty at our meetings with Hefce and LJMU so his comment about "wrangling" is speculation. The discussions were (for me at least) surprisingly stimulating.

Mark Featherstone-Witty
Principal and chief executive Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

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