Education body spent €420,000 on office space left unused
The spending by Waterford Wexford Education and Training Board of €420,000 on unused office space has contributed to a national bill of over €1 million incurred by State bodies on leases for office space no longer required.
Accounts reviewed by the Comptroller and Auditor General show that seven agencies engaged in 'ineffective expenditure' on unused accommodation including Galway Roscommon ETB, the National Transport Authority, the Law Reform Commissiion, the Health Research Board, Safe Food Ireland and IDA Ireland.
Waterford Wexford ETB accounted for the single biggest expenditure, incurring approximately €420,000 on the lease of Iberius House in Common Quay Street in Wexford between July 2006 and October 2014.
The spending arose after the former Wexford Vocational Education Committee (VEC) moved to a new premises despite being locked into a long-term rent agreement on its original headquarters.
The VEC left its old offices at Iberius House in 2006 as the building was deemed to be unsuitable and moved to new rented premises at Ardcavan Business Park.
Iberius House was sub-let for a period of time but the total amount received in rent from 2006 to 2014 was €119,500 while the rent paid by the VEC amounted to €540,000, giving a net spend of €420,500.
It was suggested that the VEC would not have gone ahead with the move if it had seen the eventual collapse in the rental market.
Iberius House was sold on behalf of receivers for €405,000 in March 2014. The VEC lease ended in October of that year.