Attorney General says PAAC has the power to call UWI before Parliament
Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte has given an opinion stating that the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) of Parliament has the power to call the University of the West Indies (UWI) to explain how it spends taxpayer's money.
PAAC chairman Dr Wykeham McNeill this morning read out the opinion before representatives of the university.
The university had initially refused to appear saying it is a regional autonomous institution that was established by a regional charter.
However, McNeill pointed out that Malahoo Forte has stated that the charter does not prevent the Parliament from requesting the appearance of the UWI to account for its spending.
The leader of the UWI team, William Iton, said the University will not challenge the opinion, although he noted a previous opinion that said the university was not a public body.
However, the attorney general said that older opinion related only to the Office of the Contractor General.
This fiscal year, Jamaican taxpayers are contributing more than eight billion dollars to the UWI which operates in 17 countries.