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UTech woes could be even deeper - Report

Published:Monday | March 10, 2014 | 3:44 PM

Damion Mitchell, Editor - Radio & Online



The committee that probed issues of governance and financial irregularity at the University of Technology (UTech) has indicated that the problems at the institution could be deeper than it has been able to conclude.




In its report, a copy of which has been obtained by The Gleaner/Power 106 News, the authors said UTech’s chief business and finance officer, Deryke Smith, had provided to independent committee members, Shirley Tyndall and Ambassador Derick Heaven, a set of documents to substantiate certain very serious claims.



However, Smith is reported to have later backed out of an offer to appear before the committee regarding the claims.



"The Committee believes that they (the claims) are of such grave importance that they have been forwarded to both the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of Finance and the Contractor General for further scrutiny,” the authors said.



They also recommended that the documents be sent to the Auditor General.



SEE: UTech President Errol Morrison should go, says committee



According to the Committee, it had called Smith for an oral presentation, but was advised that there was a legal matter pending between him and the university which prevented his appearance.



"The Committee subsequently learned that he had entered into an agreement with the university whereby based on a compensation package which was put in place, his appearance before the committee was no longer possible,” read an excerpt of the report.



The committee said it made several efforts to have Smith appear, but the requests were not acknowledged.



Efforts to contact Smith this afternoon were unsuccessful.



SEE: Report: UTech needs more Government control



The 24-page report of the four-member UTech committee has detailed an institution flouting government guidelines, making unapproved appointments, spending without proper accounting and distrust among its staff.



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