Newi accepts rebuke

June 9, 2000

The extent of mismanagement at the North East Wales Institute is revealed in the unpublished recommendations of an investigation by the Welsh funding council, obtained by The THES. The recommendations show that:

* Procedures were breached in at least one disciplinary case against a member of staff

* There is inadequate procedural protection for whistleblowers

* Employment rules were breached

* At least one member of staff was hired outside the recruitment procedures approved by governors

* Promotions policy needs improvement

* There are confused lines of control over finances

* Procedures on the acceptance of corporate hospitality need to be improved

* Staff lack awareness of occupational health issues

* Health and safety arrangements have to be improved.

The findings of the investigation by the funding council's audit service for the Welsh Assembly have not been published because of concerns that publication would compromise the forthcoming employment tribunals of two trade union members who were dismissed by Newi after raising concerns. Their union, Natfhe, is alleging that they were victimised for whistleblowing and has called for their reinstatement.

Newi has said that while allegations of bullying and harassment were substantiated, and that while the report found weaknesses in human resource management, allegations of financial irregularities and academic irregularities were not upheld. The institute has accepted the recommendations.

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