Apr 30, 2013 News Comments Off on UGSS VP resigns
Following the recent fiasco within the University of Guyana Students Society (UGSS) that pointed to financial irregularities, Senior Vice President, Mahendra Doraisami, has resigned saying that he wants no part it.
Just a few weeks ago, UGSS President Ganesh Mahipaul had admitted to using some $800,000 of the student body’s money to meet his personal expenses, saying that it was a “borrowed” sum.
However, failure by Mahipaul to get the full executive’s approval before borrowing the sum has raised eyebrows and many have been calling for his resignation.
Mahipaul told the media that several executive members were aware of the borrowing and said that he has until September when he leaves the office as President to repay the money or stand the chance of not graduating.
He said that the UGSS was there to assist students financially if required and there was documentation to support his transactions.
The UGSS Treasurer, Sherwin Benjamin, confirmed that Mahipaul borrowed the money over a period of time. Benjamin said borrowing cash from the organisation was not prohibited provided the matter was brought before the full executive of 21 members.
UGSS officials confirmed that Mahipaul had borrowed the funds without the knowledge or approval of all 21 members of the executive. Both Mahipaul and Benjamin said the reason was because it was difficult to get a quorum of the executive.
Mahipaul and Benjamin are two of the three signatories to the Republic Bank (Guyana) account.
Doraisami said that his decision to resign is mainly as a result of the Executive Council’s reluctance to invoke sanctions on ALL signatories of the UGSS bank account.
In a letter to the students of UG the ex vice president said that the “last time the Executive Council had a statutory meeting was on February 2, 2013 (this meeting is supposed to occur at least once a month).”
At that meeting information on the financial status of the Society was requested. The treasurer made it clear that he did not have such information in his possession. It was mentioned that steps would be taken in the form of an audit (which never received authorization) to produce such information.
“No statutory meeting was called for March or April. I took it upon myself to request an Emergency council meeting to discuss the finances of the UGSS, which received support from at least five UGSS members and was called on April 2, 2013. This meeting did not have a quorum and could not proceed.
“Various questions were asked by members through numerous exchanges of emails, about the finances of the UGSS. These questions went unanswered. On April 9, 2013, senior members of the Executive were called to a meeting by the President. It was at this meeting that the revelations of the infamous “recording” were made.
“It was agreed that the Treasurer would prepare financial statements within one week, and a Finance Committee meeting would be called, after which the full Executive would be apprised. Two Fridays passed and no Finance Committee meeting was called.
“The administration was formally written to by me and the PRO, requesting their intervention in the matter. The issue subsequently became public and a meeting was held on April 28.”
At that meeting, the Finance committee made recommendations to the council, one of which was to have the President sent on leave pending the audit of the account. It was not surprising that no mention was made of sanctions to be imposed on the other signatories of the account (both secondary signatories sit on the Finance Committee) and that the recommendations were in my opinion ‘lukewarm’ and ‘out of touch’ with the reality and seriousness of the situation.”
In another letter, Doraisami said that to continue to be executive member of the UGSS would be tantamount to breaking the oath of office he took.
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