“Who’s accountable for a decade of errors?” Welsh Conservatives ask as students incorrectly paid over £3m | "Pwy sy'n atebol am ddegawd o wallau?" Gofynnodd y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig wrth i fyfyrwyr cael eu talu dros £3m yn anghywir

The Education Secretary for Wales has told Assembly Members that the Welsh Government have had to write off £3.25m following ten year of incorrect grant payments.

Grants for Dependents (GFDs), which are given to help students to look after those that rely on them during their studies, had been sent to students on distance learning by mistake as they were not physically attending campus.

The information came to AMs in a written statement earlier today in which Kirsty Williams said the result emerged due to “genuine misinterpretation of the regulations”.

Though the problems that led to these mistakes has now been rectified, the mistakes had been occurring for the last ten of the 12 years that the GFD grant had been in operation.

Welsh Conservative and Shadow Education Secretary Suzy Davies AM said that though the same error shouldn’t occur again, there remain several unanswered questions.

She said: “I note that the rules have now changed and am pleased that the students who mistakenly received this money should not be made to repay what they accepted in good faith.  That does not mean that Welsh Government should just write off a substantial sum.

“This cannot be swept under the carpet with an apologetic mumble.  Someone must be held accountable.  If these rules were capable of “misinterpretation”, why?  The policy was clear.  If the universities have made the mistake, why are they not being asked to pay? Why it was able to go on for so long when both the universities and Welsh Government have their own rigorous auditing rules?

“Has this matter been brought to the attention of the Wales Audit Office? This error has cost the taxpayers a sum which could have employed dozens of teachers instead?

“I will be taking up this line of enquiry with the Welsh Government until the public gets the answers it deserves. Wales has had enough of this government losing its money through negligence or mismanagement.”

 

Mae Ysgrifennydd Addysg yng Nghymru wedi dweud wrth Aelodau'r Cynulliad bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi gorfod dileu £3.25m yn dilyn deng mlynedd o daliadau grant anghywir.

Anfonwyd grantiau i Ddibynyddion, a roddir i helpu myfyrwyr i ofalu am y rhai sy'n dibynnu arnynt yn ystod eu hastudiaethau, i fyfyrwyr sy'n dysgu i ffwrdd o'r campws trwy gamgymeriad gan nad oeddent yn mynychu campws yn gorfforol.

Daeth y wybodaeth i ACau mewn datganiad ysgrifenedig yn gynharach heddiw, lle dywedodd Kirsty Williams fod y canlyniad wedi dod i'r amlwg oherwydd "camddehongliad gwirioneddol o'r rheoliadau".

Er bod y problemau a arweiniodd at y camgymeriadau hyn bellach wedi'u cywiro, roedd y camgymeriadau wedi bod yn digwydd am y deng mlynedd diwethaf y bu'r grant GFD ar waith.

Dywedodd Suzy Davies AC, Ysgrifennyd Cysgodol dros Addysg i'r Ceidwadwyr Cymreig, er na ddylai'r un gwall ddigwydd eto, mae yna nifer o gwestiynau heb eu hateb.

Dywedodd: "Rwy'n nodi bod y rheolau bellach wedi newid ac rwy'n falch na ddylid gwneud y myfyrwyr a gafodd yr arian hwn yn anghywir i ad-dalu'r hyn a dderbyniwyd ganddynt yn ddidwyll. Nid yw hynny'n golygu y dylai Llywodraeth Cymru ddileu swm sylweddol yn unig.

"Ni ellir ysgubo hyn dan y carped gyda sibrydion. Rhaid i rywun fod yn atebol. Pe bai'r rheolau hyn yn gallu cael eu "camddehongli", pam? Roedd y polisi yn glir. Os yw'r prifysgolion wedi gwneud y camgymeriad, pam na ofynnir iddynt dalu? Pam y gallai fynd ymlaen cyn belled â bod gan y prifysgolion a Llywodraeth Cymru eu rheolau archwilio trylwyr eu hunain?

"A yw'r mater hwn wedi'i ddod i sylw Swyddfa Archwilio Cymru? Mae'r gwall hwn wedi costio swm i'r trethdalwyr a allai fod wedi cyflogi dwsinau o athrawon yn lle hynny?

"Byddaf yn ymgymryd â'r ymholiad hwn â Llywodraeth Cymru nes bydd y cyhoedd yn cael yr atebion y mae'n haeddu. Mae Cymru wedi cael digon o'r llywodraeth hon yn colli ei arian trwy esgeulustod neu gamreoli."