PAC to summon Bernard over CMU spending

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PAC to summon Bernard over CMU spending

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has indicated its intention to invite former permanent secretary in the education ministry, Dean-Roy Bernard to give an account of questionable expenditures which occurred under his watch at Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).

The auditor general's report has been before the PAC over the past several months, during which further adverse details have come to light. The special audit of CMU for the period 2016-17 to 2018-19 was conducted in response to public concerns regarding allegations of malpractice at the institution.

At its meeting today, committee Chairman Mark Golding said the former permanent secretary should give an account of the spending, over which numerous questions remain unanswered.

Bernard, in a Gleaner report following the publication of the report in January, refuted any assertion that he bypassed the due diligence process in the discharge of his duties.

The former chief accounting officer has been noted in the auditor general's report as the beneficiary of a $434,114 appreciation dinner which was funded by the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), whose chairman is reportedly connected to the education ministry.

In October last year the Supreme Court ruled against a move by the Government to transfer Bernard from the education ministry to the post of director general in the ministry of finance, and his attorney had indicated that he would be writing to the Public Service Commission regarding the resumption of duties at the education ministry.

-Alphea Saunders


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