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UWI's appearance before PAAC postponed

Published:Thursday | November 10, 2016 | 11:26 AM

A parliamentary committee has postponed an appearance that was to be made by the University of the West Indies (UWI) to account for how it spends money from Jamaican taxpayers.

The University was scheduled to appear yesterday morning before the Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC).

However, at the start of the meeting, chairman  of the committee Dr Wykeham McNeill told members that the UWI would not be attending.

He explained in a report from the institution that the PAAC needed to make deliberations has not been put before the committee.

McNeill said the clerk has been communicating with the Education Ministry to get a report.

The UWI had withdrawn an initial report after  rejecting an invitation to appear before  the parliamentary committee in September.

The UWI said it is a regional autonomous institution and has no legal authority to appear  before any parliament of contributing  countries.

However, the institution backtracked after public backlash although it said any appearance is at its discretion.

At a press conference on Tuesday, vice-chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said governments have representatives on finance  committees and it's unprecedented for the institution to go before a parliament.

Jamaican taxpayers are providing $8.3 billion to the UWI this financial year.