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Jamaica Teachers' Association hires auditing firm

Published:Monday | January 6, 2014 | 8:19 AM

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) says it has engaged the services of Pricewaterhousecoopers to conduct a five-year forensic audit following a series of fraudulent activities inĀ 2013.

Last August, financial auditors discovered that $58 million was missing from the coffers of the union, but investigators believed the fraud could have run deeper.

Marlon Francis who was employed to the JTA's accounts department, was named as a person of interest, but he has not yet been found.

In an national address yesterday evening to mark the beginning of the Easter term for schools across the island, JTA President, Dr Mark Nicely, said the Pricewaterhousecoopers audit is being done on a phased basis.

The first report is expected at the end of March.

Nicely says many measures and systems have been implemented to tighten control and improve financial management of the organisation.

And he says his administration will not spare any effort to remedy the situation.

Nicely says the JTA has established committees to review the response of teachers to the draft Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC) Bill and the white paper on Pension Reform.

Although a time line was not announced, Nicely says the committees will craft a universal response once they have completed their reviews of both pieces of legislation.

In several meetings held across the island by the JTA last year, teachers voiced their dissatisfaction with the JTC bill.

They were especially peeved by sections of the bill granting disciplinary powers to the Council to suspend or revoke teaching licences.

The Council would also be able to, among other measures, at any time, suspend teachers without an inquiry if they are charged with an offence.

Nicely had said it would be unfair for teachers to lose their licences without having an appropriate hearing with their chosen representative.

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