Thu | Feb 27, 2020

Clean house! - Archbishop Gregory suggests new admin for CMU

Published:Monday | January 20, 2020 | 12:52 AM
Archbishop Howard Gregory: “It may be necessary for resignations to take place.”
Archbishop Howard Gregory: “It may be necessary for resignations to take place.”

Anglican Archbishop of the West Indies, the Reverend Dr Howard Gregory, said that everything should be done to safeguard the credibility of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), as well as its programmes, warning that “it may be necessary for resignations to take place and for a new administration to be put in place”.

However, Gregory said that before such actions are taken, the country should await the tabling of the full report, expected on Tuesday, to determine where the weaknesses are at the institution so that corrective measures can be taken.

The Sunday Gleaner reported that Roger Hinds and another member of the CMU Council resigned last week while the registrar of the institution had indicated from December that she would be stepping away from the tertiary body.

His remarks come against the background of the findings of a Special Audit Report on allegations of malpractices at the CMU by the Auditor General’s Department.

The report uncovered a trail of questionable spending, flagrant human-resource breaches, and other violations of government protocol.

He also weighed in on the delay in the tabling of the CMU report last Tuesday by House Speaker Pearnel Charles.

“It may be embarrassing for some; it doesn’t help anyone to conceal information of this nature. It is in the interest of our country and our democracy to have things like this come to the fore and we deal with it,” Gregory insisted.

At the same time, chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Mark Golding, said that members of the committee would make a determination as to the next item for review at its January 28 meeting.

Report to be reviewed

However, he noted that because the CMU issue has been a high public-interest matter, following its proposed tabling tomorrow, the committee should make plans to review the report as soon as possible.

“The determination of what the PAC deals with is settled by the committee, usually by consensus or majority, so I can’t tell you unilaterally what will happen at this point,” Golding said.

With the prorogation of Parliament expected to take place in early February, and the ceremonial opening of Parliament set for February 11, a sitting of the PAC to examine the CMU Report is not likely to take place, at least for the next two weeks.

Golding told The Gleaner yesterday that once the new parliamentary year gets under way, the committee would commence its work. He suggested that the committee start reviewing the CMU report before the end of the current legislative year in March.

He cautioned that any attempt to prevent the PAC from reviewing the CMU report would have adverse political consequences for the Government.