Former SLB Chairman Insists No Wrongdoing Under his Watch

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Former Chairman of the Student’s Loan Bureau (SLB) Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett, is insisting that no wrongdoing took place during his tenure.

His staunch defence comes after the Gleaner printed an article which stated a $2.5-million retreat was hosted for the SLB staff without permission from the Board among other management issues. The Gleaner alleges this led to the board demitting office.

Speaking on Cliff Hughes Online with Mark Wignall this afternoon, Dr. Bartlett denies that any impropriety took place. It was revealed just this week that the previous board under Dr. Bartlett had been reconstituted in December by Finance Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke.

In a statement yesterday, Dr. Clarke cited differences in opinion regarding management practices as the reason. Dr. Bartlett says the Finance Minister did, in fact, request his resignation after allegations of mismanagement.

However, he says it was ultimately decided that the board would be reconstituted.

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Dr. Bartlett confirmed that the reconstitution came after concerns were raised by members of the board regarding his management and other issues at the SLB.

Among them, it was noted by a Gleaner article today, was a $2.5-million staff retreat without the approval of the board.

However, Dr. Bartlett says what he calls a staff enrichment exercise was done with board approval.

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He says the one day function was held at an all-inclusive resort in order to assess how the Bureau would address its ballooning delinquent debt portfolio.

The former State Minister says only one member of the board was not present due to a scheduling conflict.

The Gleaner also says board members allege the former chairman approved the renewal of the contract of Executive Director, Monica Brown, despite board members objecting. But, Dr. Bartlett says he sought input from the board and no objection was raised.

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Dr. Bartlett contends that there’ll always be disagreements on styles of leadership. However, he feels that in his capacity as Chairman of the SLB he operated entirely above board.

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