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UTech rejects Finance Ministry report over $240,000 pay out

Published:Thursday | March 13, 2014 | 9:12 AM

The University of Technology (UTech) is rejecting a Finance Ministry report that the institution paid $240,000 to engineer Milton Hodelin for a training workshop that did not take place.



Hodelin, who is an engineer in the Agriculture Ministry has already defended himself, stating that the training was delivered.



He told the Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre he will be contacting his lawyer on the matter.



SEE: AUDIO: 'Ridiculous!' Consultant says $240,000 workshop at UTech took place





The ministry’s inspectorate division said it examined documents revealing that Hodelin was paid to prepare and present a two-day workshop in government procurement policies, principles, and practices on September 5 and 6, 2011.



However, the investigators said there was no evidence to suggest that the training was delivered and recommended that UTech take steps to immediately recover the money.



In a response to the report, UTech’s management yesterday said it was rejecting the notion that the services of Hodelin were improperly procured and were not delivered.



UTech also says the participants, who were new members of a procurement committee, have verified that they received the training.



The institution has produced a February 2012 email written by then chief financial officer Deryke Smith who it says initiated and authorised the training.



The Papine-based institution says Smith sent the email to President Professor Errol Morrison to justify his decision and as part of a probe by the Office of the Contractor General.



According to the email, the process to authorise the training was expedited using guidelines that facilitate emergency contracting in order to meet university obligations.



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