The Department of Education has appointed an inspector to inquire into the running of a number of businesses providing services to Waterford Institute of Technology.

The unusual move will see the former chairman of the Revenue Commissioners, Dermot Quigley, inquire into the relationship between the college and the companies, including their financial relationship.

Mr Quigley is to report back to Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn within one month.

The department said that the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee had been informed of the move.