Maureen Dwyer to act as Permanent Secretary at Education Ministry as Grace McLean sent on leaveWednesday, October 13, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Effective Thursday, October 14, Chief Inspector in the National Education Inspectorate, Maureen Dwyer, will assume responsibilities as Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
The news comes as it was announced today that Acting Permanent Secretary, Dr Grace McLean, has been sent on leave amid calls from the Auditor General, Pamela Monroe Ellis, that McLean and the former permanent secretary in the education ministry, Deanroy Bernard, be hit with surcharge action by the Ministry of Finance and Public Service.
According to a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, ''McLean's leave will ensure there is no hindrance, real or perceived, to the course of the investigations.''
Bernard and McLean have found themselves at the centre of a controversial $124 million payment of taxpayer funds to the Cecil Cornwall-chaired Joint Committee on Tertiary Education (JCTE). They have both been flagged by the AG, as failing in their fiduciary responsibilities.
The AG's findings are contained in a special report which was tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. In the report, Monroe-Ellis recommended that Education Minister, Fayval Williams, call in the police or a designated anti-corruption body to investigate the matter.
The AG suggested that fraud could be involved as her efforts to get comments from the JCTE during the course of her investigations were stymied after she was told that the entity had gone private and not obligated to answer her questions.
Yet, after supposedly going private, JCTE continued to receive millions of dollars from the government, including $11 million that was authorised by McLean.