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Nov 12, 2009

Why are university finance and HR personnel being replaced?

Story PictureIn October of this year, the Board of Trustees of the University of Belize reported that a draft audit of the university’s finances revealed that millions of dollars were not reported in the financial statements. This led to a decision to freeze the salary increments of the faculty and staff and to propose a tuition increase. A weeklong protest followed from the student body and staff, but they cooled off when the freeze and increase were called off. It is now known that the Financial Controller, Harry Lui, and the Director of Human Resources, Yura Monsanto, are being removed from their posts by next week. This goes back to February when the posts were initially advertised but the two were not replaced. There are a lot of unanswered questions, especially since the audit disclosed financial irregularities, but Silvaana Udz, in her capacity as Public Information Officer for the university, could simply say that the President, Dr. Santos Mahung, who could answer to the recent developments, is unavailable because he is out of the country.

Silvaana Udz, Public Information Officer, U.B.
“Duane, at this time, UB’s management is preparing a statement to issue and as soon as our office has that we will pass it on to the media. I can confirm though as it was reported as well, that in fact the positions of director of Finance and Director of Human Resources have been advertised through our office since about February-March. In fact, one of the points I believe in the faculty and staff Pro-tem committee’s position was just about that, the advertising of senior posts in light of the then understanding that there was no money as you may recall. So that much is a fact and that is what the position is right now in terms of information. I would prefer to direct you to the two employees to speak to them or at the moment to our president that is currently away, but the acting president Dr. Angel Cal would probably be in a better position at this time to address that question as to why the posts became vacant.”

Duane Moody
“About a month ago there was this big protest from faculty and students on the increment freeze and the proposed tuition increase and this all led to the board meeting and board press conference that actually released that there was an under-reporting of funds. Is this the reason why the Chief Financial Officer was dismissed?”

Sylvaana Udz
“I will not be in a position to answer that, Duane. However, as was noted, the official audit, which will confirm or flesh out the draft audit should be ready for December as I believe the board maintained earlier or late last month.”

When News Five contacted Harry Lui, he had no comment.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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