Business school row descends into bickering

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A DEBATE about the £319,187 deficit facing the International Business School descended into bickering between two politicians.

Education Minister Eddie Teare MHK faced questioning in the House of Keys over the deficit from Peter Karran (LibVan, Onchan).

Mr Teare said as head of the department responsible for the Business School he took responsibility for the deficit.

In his final House of Keys sitting, retiring Michael MHK David Cannan asked what the school’s financial problems would do to its reputation as a school teaching students about financial management. Mr Teare said Mr Cannan had a good point.

But, in the first of a series of fractious exchanges, Mr Teare said during Mr Cannan’s time in the Department of Education there was an overall departmental shortfall of £1.2 million.

He called the IBS deficit ‘small beer’ in comparison. Mr Cannan interjected, pointing out he had not been the minister during that time, to which Mr Teare responded ‘I think he doth protest too much’.

Mr Karran said there were ‘bad foundations’ put in place when the school was being set up and asked Mr Teare what lessons the department had learned. Mr Teare said he was sure there would be clear lessons for his department to learn. However, he told Mr Karran if he wanted answers about the foundations of the school he ought to ask Mr Cannan who, he said, was ‘one of the prime movers of the IBS’.

Mr Teare said that since his department took responsibility for the IBS in 2005 it had provided an annual subvention.

In the last year, this had amounted to £1,101,787, comprising an original budgeted subvention of £782,600 plus the budget deficit of £319,187. In previous years the subvention has been in the range of £708,000 to £875,30. Mr Karran pressed for more financial details. Mr Teare said the accounts were available but added: ‘If he wants some insight into what happened originally, he should discuss it with Mr Cannan.’

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