Public Audit Committee to call witnesses on Coatbridge College severance deals


The Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee today decided on the next stage of its inquiry into the governance of severance payments at the former Coatbridge College.

The Committee has decided to take oral evidence from a number of individuals, including the former Principal – John Doyle - and former Chair of the College – John Gray - who will be invited to face the Committee at its next meeting on Wednesday 28 October. 

Public Audit Committee Convener Paul Martin MSP said: 

“The evidence we heard from the Auditor General about the serious governance weaknesses in voluntary severance arrangements at the former Coatbridge College suggested a deeply flawed decision-making process that benefited certain senior members of staff.   

“As a Committee we were left with no alternative but to hold an inquiry and get answers to the questions that we – and many others – have about what went on at Coatbridge regarding severance arrangements for senior members of staff.  

“I expect all those we are inviting to give evidence to do so.  Only then can we get answers and consider if any further steps need to be taken.”

In addition to the former Principal and former Chair, the Committee also expects to hear from others including the Scottish Funding Council: members of the college remuneration committee; internal and external auditors; the former director of finance and the former head of HR at the college; the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator; and the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.

It is anticipated that evidence will be heard over three meetings.  

The Committee had requested written evidence by the end of September.  

Written submissions will be published on the Committee’s website later this week.

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