Manchester arts college under NAO probe

Manchester arts college under NAO probe

Watchdog looks at alleged financial irregularities

A tip off by a former academic has seen the National Audit Office launch an
investigation into allegation of financial irregularities at the Manchester
College of Arts and Technology (Mancat).

The inquiry follows claims by Dr Mohammad Bahrami, a former lecturer, that he
was told to doctor paperwork to enable the college to receive extra funding.

Bahrami was sacked in 2003 for alleged misconduct but won a claim for unfair
dismissal at an employment tribunal.

Other lecturers have claimed they were asked to manipulate registers, marking
absent students as present and were pressurized to apply fraudulently for
additional money from the funding body, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC),
the Daily Telegraph reported.

The paper reported Richard Healey, the Learning and Skills Council’s director
of finance, as saying it had conducted a number of investigations into
allegations against Mancat, most recently in 2004, and considered the ‘case
closed’.

The National Audit Office (NAO) investigation began in March and said it had
talked to the Learning and Skills Council and was ‘now considering ‘the next
people we need to talk to’.

Mancat has more than 3,000 sixth-formers on campuses across the city.

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