PAC hears…position not advertised, despite Ministry’s instructionQuestionable employment practices in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and suspicious privileges and responsibilities being afforded to one of the Region’s drivers were put under the microscope during the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing on Monday.Region 5 REO Ovid MorrisonAppearing before the PAC was Regional Executive Officer (REO) Ovid Morrison. He was made to account for the deferential treatment of his driver, Frank Wilson, who was provided with housing at the Region’s expense despite not being entitled to such.Questions were also raised about the “heavy duty driver” being promoted to transport officer. The position was not advertised, despite express instructions from the Ministry of the Presidency’s Public Service Department that this be done.He had previously been performing the functions of transport officer, including signing off and certifying payments for maintenance work done on vehicles, until his elevation. He had also been functioning as a requisition officer for fuel and spares since 2016.In the regional administration’s official response, it claimed that approval was actually granted for the position to be created and the individual was recommended owing to his experience.PAC Chairman Irfaan Ali pointed to a number of infractions recorded by the Auditor General, including instances where a driver was cited signing off on payments for fuel for himself. However, Morrison denied that the officer ever requisitioned fuel for his own vehicle.PAC Chairman Irfaan AliAccording to Morrison, he was doing so for other vehicles. Ali urged Auditor General Deodat Sharma, who was present at the sitting, to look into this.It was subsequently revealed that there was a letter attesting to the driver commencing official duty as transport officer.Ali upbraided both Morrison and the chief accountant for the region on holding back this information.Ali also pointed out that the Public Service Department had instructed that the position be advertised widely. When asked whether an internal posting of the vacancy was done, Morrison answered in the negative, but acknowledged that such a posting was required.VacanciesMeanwhile, PAC member Juan Edghill also questioned Morrison on whose authority certain vacancies were filled. Morrison noted that the vacancies were filled by the Public Service Department.Ali questioned him on the number of staff actually required to be on the payroll. PAC member, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence noted that during the course of the year, priorities change and if more staff was needed, permission could be requested from the Public Service Department.Under questioning from Ali, Morrison confirmed that they did have the approval for the 90 additional staff. Edghill questioned how many were new positions that were created. Morrison noted that there were no new positions.Edghill pointed out that at one time the authorised employment strength was declared. He lamented that this has been discontinued and because the regions have ceased presenting their authorised strength, they can employ in an ad-hoc manner.Ali questioned how many contracted employees were in the region. However, when Morrison balked at the question, Ali upbraided him for his lack of preparation. While Morrison admitted that there has been an increase in contracted employees, he promised to supply the actual figures at a later time.Opposition parliamentarian and PAC member Nigel Dharamlall upbraided the REO for not knowing his staffing strength. Dharamlall contended that as the principal accounting officer in the region, Morrison should be familiar with these figures.“You employed during the course of 2016, an additional 47 clerical office support staff. So you started at 10 and end up at 47. Those 10 staff, were they doing the work of 47? So, I think this issue has to go beyond the numbers.“I find it unacceptable that you are the REO of a region and you don’t know what is the strength of your organisation… that you don’t know how much staff you’re supposed to have, but you employ staff every year. I find that inherently unacceptable.”The considerations concluded with the Chairman reminding the REO of the information he has to return to the Committee with. Morrison gave a commitment to provide the information by the end of the week.“As it is, REO, you have committed to a set of information. One (is) the letter of approval from the public service ministry authorising you to employ the additional 90 persons. You said all 90 were in relation to vacancies existing in the region.“You have to give us the vacancies that existed and the positions these vacancies filled. You also have to give us the authorised strength based on all your vacancies, so we know the total need of the region from your organisational structure,” Ali also instructed the REO.
DDTV: KILLYBEGS soccer star Seamus Coleman would love nothing better than running out at Croke Park this weekend with a Donegal jersey on him.And he says he will be watching the match on TV – and cheering on Donegal against Mayo.In this video he also answered questions sent to Everton via Twitter.He revealed he picked No23 for the team because it was available when he was on a pre-season tour to Australia – saying he ditched his No31 jersey and opted for a number also worn at the time by David Beckham and Michael Jordan. Seamus shares his surname with a famous brand of mustard….but does he actually like mustard? Has he ever even tasted it?Click Play to Watch and find out. DDTV: SEAMUS COLEMAN FEATURES IN EVERTON TWITTER Q&A was last modified: August 2nd, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:everton tvseamus colemantwitter questions