The People’s Partnership Government on entering office in May 2010 took a decision to conduct a legal and financial forensic audit into the affairs of The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) following several allegations of gross misconduct and financial irregularities with respect to decisions made by the previous board.
On the advice of the Attorney General, the Honourable Anand Ramlogan, the Board of Governors of The University of Trinidad and Tobago took a decision to institute proceedings against former UTT Board of Governors led by Professor Kenneth Julien, Chairman/President.
Applications were filed by the Defendants, namely Professor Kenneth Julien, Dr. Rene Monteil, Giselle Marfleet, Scott Hilton-Clarke and Errol Pilgrim to strike out the claims. Justice Vasheist Kokaram held that there is ‘an arguable claim of breach of fiduciary duties which has caused a loss to UTT’, and as such the claim made by UTT was neither just ‘speculative or fanciful’. Upon the dismissal of the Applications, the court ordered that UTT costs be paid by the Defendants.
The UTT Board of Governors took this decision to protect the interest of the University due to the manner by which tax payers funds were expended. The Particulars of Loss and Damages suffered by UTT amounted to some TT$2.85M in rent during the period 01st February 2006 to 31st October 2010, TT$1.48M annual operating costs, together with a capital expenditure of TT$1.02M. As a result the Board of Governors of UTT is seeking compensation in the sum of approximately TT$10.9M.
This judgement vindicates the decision of the Board to hold investigations and commence proceedings against the former members of the UTT Board of Governors.
11th April 2014