In a scathing attack on the striking university non-academics, Colombo University Vice Chancellor Prof. Tilak Hettiarachchi yesterday charged that they were urging for the removal of the recently installed state-of-the-art fingerprint attendance machines be removed because the new system deprived them of cheating in their attendance.
Prof. Hettiarachchi told journalists yesterday that the Public Administration Ministry had ordered the machines in 2001 though they were only installed this month.
?This measure is intended to monitor attendance, particularly with regard to payment of overtime which has become a big burden in government institutions. All attempts by us to install the machines were thwarted by trade unions. Every year we were questioned by the Auditor General`s Department for falling to set up the machines,? he said.
The Vice Chancellor noted that the University Audit and Management Committee took steps to introduce fingerprint time clocking machines after audit queries regarding excessive payments to workers.
?Annually, we have to spend around Rs.12 million. It will amount to Rs. 20 million this year with the budgetary salary increments. Technical staff is mainly responsible for these malpractices. Most of them work at private hospitals in Colombo, and use the university resources to finalize reports,? he alleged.
He also said they would not heed the strikers` demand to remove the machines as there are two pending court cases in this regard.