Galway University Foundation highlights regulator report found charity to be ‘well run organisation’

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Galway University Foundation has welcomed the publication of an inspection report from the Charities Regulator and has stressed it has fully addressed two areas where improvements were deemed necessary.

The charity has moved to highlight the finding that the Foundation was a ‘well run organisation’.

The regulator received concerns about Galway University Foundation in June 2017.

A subsequent inspection examined areas including funds spent on taxi services, business class flights and 4 or 5 star accommodation and funds used on spousal travel.

It found a spend of more than 30-thousand euro on 102 taxi trips over a three year period.

There was no substantial backup documentation on file as to the purpose of the trips and the justification for using a taxi service.

It concluded that the use of charitable monies on a taxi service for long distance travel is generally inconsistent with value for money considerations.

The report found over 48,500 euro had been spent by Galway University Foundation on business class flights between 2015 and 2017.

Other expenses include four and five star hotels in cities such as New York, Singapore, Beijing and Toronto.

The report concluded that the use of charitable monies on business class flights is inconsistent with general best practice and value for money consideration.

The inspection found inadequate controls applied to donor acknowledgement.

Over 61 thousand euro was spent on donor acknowledgement at the Galway Races over a three year period from 2015 to 2017.

The charity was established in 1998 and has raised over 146 million euro in support of NUI Galway.

In a statement, the Foundation says these funds have leveraged matching funding of €65 million from public and other sources and the combined funds have enabled the University to invest €200 million in research, training and educational access.

It adds that 100 % of all donor funds were invested directly in these projects.