UWI apologises, says letter on accountability for public funds 'misunderstood'
The vice-chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI) has apologised for what he claims was a misunderstanding of a letter from the tertiary institution that it would not appear before the Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC).
In a letter sent to the media, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hilary Beckles said the university registrar was seeking to clarify the principle of accountability.
The parliamentary committee was left stunned after hearing the letter from the UWI that the institution is not answerable to the Jamaican Parliament over how it spends taxpayers' money.
PAAC chairman, Dr Wykeham McNeill said the university registrar, William Iton, wrote that the institution is a public autonomous regional body of which Jamaica is only one contributor.
However, Professor Beckles says the UWI as a regional institution is keen and willing to appear before the PAAC to account for Jamaica’s investments in all of it campuses.
The UWI vice-chancellor also said it is a well established procedure for the university bursar to make submissions to all governments on behalf of all campuses.
In fact he says the governance model of the UWI was created in order to embrace Ministers of National Governments in order to accommodate the circumstances.
“There is therefore no attempt to challenge the authority of the Jamaican Parliament which we celebrate and recognise as having made the single largest investment in the UWI in these past 68 years,” he said.