Former PNCR Leader Corbin, Magistrates, prominent lawyers among defaulters of UG student loan – audit reveals

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Former Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and once Deputy Prime Minister, Robert Corbin is among a sample list of some 488 persons who are said to be “delinquent”, having failed to repay their Student Loan taken from the University of Guyana (UG), a recent Forensic Audit into the Finance Ministry’s UG Student Loan Agency has revealed.

The audit, which covered the period December 2011 to May 2015, stated that Robert Herman Orlando Corbin, whose student ID was 94/0850/7845, still owe the agency $1,048,201 as at May 11, 2015.

Former A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Member of Parliament (MP) and prominent Attorney James Bond is also listed as delinquent, still having an outstanding balance of $400,191 for the agency.

defaultersAlso making the list of delinquents is former Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo, daughter of Prime Minister Moses Nagamottoo. She has an outstanding balance of $1,386,197.

People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Central Committee Member, Majeed Hussain is said to have a balance of $40,222, while prominent Attorney Jaya Devi Manickchand also owes the university $1,582,685.

Some of the others listed are city Magistrates Judy Tanujah Latchman, whose outstanding balance is listed as $1.1 million and Geeta Chandan-Edmond at $1.4 million.

Other prominent figures listed as delinquent are Attorneys Roysdale Forde with an outstanding balance of $275,138, Ronald Burch-Smith $1.2 million, Paul Braam $946,420, and former Magistrate Gordon Gilhuys $1.1 million.

Joan Ann Edghill, daughter of former Junior Finance Minister and current PPP/C MP, Juan Edghill, is  also on the list. Deputy Solicitor General Prithima Tiwari Kissoon owes $1 million.

Among the other delinquents are Attorneys Leslie Sobers, Roger Yearwood, Natasha Grey, Bernard Da Silva, Jochebed Pollard, Dexter Todd, Lauren Dundas. The total outstanding loans amounted to some $880 million.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The forensic auditors recommended sweeping changes to the loan agency’s policies so as to ensure that there is greater recovery of loans issued to students.

Chief among the recommendations are for the Finance Minister to appoint an oversight Board of Trustees, including a Secretary to the Board of about six persons to oversee the Student Loan Agency.

“Board members should include a representative from the Minister’s office, the University Bursar, the President or a designate from Students Society at University, an Attorney-at-Law and a Qualified Accountant. The Trustees should report to the Minister of Finance or his designate and minutes of all meeting should be maintained,” the report stated.

It stated that the Trustees should approve governance practices and in addition meet monthly to ensure that the Agency is managed effectively and efficiently.

“Further, they should ensure that student loans are disbursed consistently with improved policies and procedures and recovered on a timely basis,” the auditors recommended.

It also recommended adequate staffing of the agency. And that the Student Loans should be managed as “Student Revolving Loans” with immediate effect.

This, the auditors suggested, will allow outstanding loans to be collected and used for future loans without the Government having to provide additional amounts.

It said that based on the current bank balances and loans outstanding, there is no need for the Government to budget for any further funds for the Agency.

LEGAL ACTION

The auditors also suggested that defaulting students should be written to, advising that they settle their outstanding balances. “Failing which, legal proceeding should be instituted. Where students cannot be located or have failed to respond to written and oral communication, the guarantors should be pursued,” was another recommendation of the auditors.

(Reprinted: Guyana Times)

1 COMMENT

  1. It is most unfortunate,that an exposure of this nature of “delinquents“of students` loans had to reach this far.I am wondering if messages were sent to these alleged individuals to remind them of their responsibilities,before making it known to the public.I believe,this is an embarrassment they will never want to repeat itself again.Everyone who owes a debt,must always remember to pay up,even if you have to pay in instalments.

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