Cash claw-back talks

December 4, 1998

Misused public money will be clawed back from Halton College following an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of millions of pounds.

The Further Education Funding Council has completed a six-month investigation into allegations that managers at the Cheshire College made false claims for course funding, bought IT equipment in contravention of the college's financial guidelines and misused public money to set up a private company.

The FEFC's findings remain unpublished, as the report has gone to the National Audit Office for consideration, but the college confirmed this week that it has undertaken a review of its financial compliance regulations and they have been "redefined".

It is unclear how many of the allegations the FEFC has upheld, but it confirmed this week that it was in negotiation with the college over a figure for financial "claw-back" in the new year.

The college has confirmed that principal Martin Jenkins and his deputy, Jenny Dolphin, who deny all charges against them, will remain suspended. Acting principal John Bolton will remain with the college until March 1999, it said.

The college spokesman said that no disciplinary action has been taken against any employee, "at this point in time".

The report is expected to be published by the NAO early in the New Year.

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