– was promoted on contract without post being advertised
A heavy duty vehicle driver was authorized to sign off on payments for fuel and vehicle repairs across Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), which alarmed state auditors.
The matter became contentious when it surfaced yesterday during an appearance by Regional Executive Officer (REO) Ovid Morrison at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.
Morrison disclosed to the bi-partisan committee that he authorized the driver, identified as Frank Wilson, to sign off on fuel purchases and vehi
The full scope unearthed by auditors indicated that the driver certified and signed off on payments for maintenance works. Wilson, who lives next door to Morrison, was also serving as the requisitioning officer for fuel and spares since October, 2016.
Morrison stated that Wilson was authorized to undertake the tasks because he was performing the duties as the region’s transport officer. Morrison told the PAC that he personally signed off on transactions relating to Wilson’s vehicle to safeguard the process.
Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Communities, Emil McGarrell, agreed that he would not have such a system in place.
PAC Chairman, Irfaan Ali, drilled Morrison about the details surrounding Wilson’s employment. He could not provide details. Unsatisfied about the responses, Ali called for a break to allow Morrison to get the information.
Upon resumption, Morrison withdrew a previous statement that he was unaware when Wilson was appointed as the region’s transport officer.
Morrison shared that he wrote a letter dated October 2017 to the Department of Public Service, seeking approval for Wilson to fill the post of transportation officer.
Although Wilson was performing the duties of transport officer, in the letter read to the PAC, Morrison stated that there was need to appoint a transport officer to curb the misuse of government vehicles.
Morrison stated that he interviewed Wilson, appraised him and been found him to be responsible and knowledgeable to perform the function of transport officer.
Wilson’s hiring was subsequently approved by way of a letter dated January 31, 2018. A contract was signed on February 15, 2018, with Wilson.
The REO admitted that the process required an internal job posting and admitted that this was not done.
PAC member, Juan Edghill inquired how Wilson knew that the position was open if it was not advertised internally or externally. Morrison stated that it was clear that the skills needed to fill the post were not within the region’s staff structure.
“You cannot determine that, because you did not avail yourself of the information that is more widely in the system. The processes are there to ensure efficiency, to ensure accountability, to ensure fairness, to ensure transparency. Part of the reasoning behind putting the posting is to ensure that every single person has equal access and equal opportunity to whatever is available in the organization,” Ali stated.
Morrison assured the PAC that all hiring will be done in confirmation with the process.
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