In a statement today, Mr. Robinson pointed to the Auditor General’s annual report which was tabled in Parliament last week, which noted that MSET did not prioritize its capacity needs when it made a decision to approve Special Early Retirement Programme (SERP) retirement for six officers with effect from April 30, 2018.
On the same day that the SERP was approved, the six officers were re-engaged on a one-year contract at rates between 22.1 and 263 per cent more than their emoluments prior to SERP, despite the fact that their terms of reference and scope of service were similar to the respective functions they performed prior to SERP.
Additionally, these officers were not paid based on job performed but received fixed monthly payments, totalling $21.67 million for the period, which significantly exceeded the 15 per cent savings of $4.44 million allowable under SERP.
Mr Robinson said this is a clear case of gross mismanagement, wanton waste and utter disregard for public funds and those responsible for approving this fiasco need to be held accountable.
The AG noted that MSET’s action would not have been in line with Government of Jamaica fiscal strategies to keep emoluments at 9 per cent to GDP.
Further, MSET did not obtain competitive quotations, and/or advertised the procurement opportunity for these consultancy services. In justifying the use of the direct contracting method MSET indicated that the procurement of the consultancy service was urgent. However, MSET did not assess the impact on the organization of, the separation of all six officers (who worked in critical technical areas) at the same time.
“Those who approve this unacceptable scheme must be sanctioned as this is a clear dereliction of duty, if not outright corruption.” Mr. Robinson said.
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