General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Education Bossess sell land too cheaply


11/09/2007 :: Northern Ireland :: UTV News

Education authorities in Northern Ireland sold off surplus land for £4 million less than market value, a new report has revealed.

Auditor General John Dowdall`s probe into deals with the private sector found the Department and boards involved could have done more to get value for money.

Doubts were also cast over the effectiveness of clawback clauses built into the contracts to protect their interest from any future sales.

Although it was claimed the Belfast Board could earn an income share of up to £10m, less than half of that has been secured so far.

The Northern Ireland Audit Office report said: "In the four contracts examined, surplus land may have been transferred to the private sector operators at less than market value.

"These transfers formed part of the deals to provide new educational facilities.

"NIAO estimates this shortfall to be in the region of £4m at contract signature."



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