FEFC acts on complaint

October 9, 1998

Funding council investigators are examining Whistleblowers' revelations that managers at Matthew Boulton College have contravened the rules of college governance.

The Further Education Funding Council confirmed this week that it is acting on formal complaints that instruments and articles of governance have been breached at the Birmingham college.

It is understood that the college principal, Christine Braddock, will be asked by the FEFC this week to answer charges that she gave herself and a select group of governors unorthodox powers to veto the full governing body's right to make executive decisions about the college's financial future. This contravenes articles of governance.

Internal sources have suggested that the FEFC will look sympathetically on Ms Braddock as she has inherited a multimillion-pound deficit from former principal Tony Colton. Mr Colton left the college facing mass redundancies, after securing an enhanced pension for himself. He was clerk to the remuneration committee that awarded him a rise.

Ms Braddock's tenure has already seen the departure of former chair of governors, Barry Seager. Ms Braddock has suspended vice-principal Alan Smith and former clerk to governors Barry Molyneux, who are subject to disciplinary action.

The FEFC said it was "working closely with the college" to ensure it acts on findings of a report by external auditors, commissioned by Ms Braddock, that is being used in the disciplinary proceedings against the suspended former managers.

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