Executive backs UHI

July 14, 2000

Scottish Executive minister Alasdair Morrison has told the Scottish Parliament he has "absolute confidence" in an inquiry into alleged complaints about mismanagement of the University of the Highlands and Islands project. Mr Morrison, deputy minister for the Highlands and Islands, said the executive was committed to the UHI.

Sir Fraser Morrison, UHI chairman, recently announced an inquiry into the "receipt, status and handling" of alleged complaints about chief executive Brian Duffield. In parliament, Liberal Democrat MSP George Lyon asked what had triggered the inquiry, noting that the UHI had last month denied having received any formal staff complaints.

Scottish National Party MSP Fergus Ewing asked if the public could have confidence in the independence of the inquiry, which will report to Sir Fraser and UHI rector Donnie Munro.

"I want to put on public record that I have absolute confidence in what has been initiated," Mr Morrison said. He added that he and enterprise and lifelong learning minister Henry McLeish would meet the UHI board in the autumn and would brief MSPs afterwards.

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