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'No contract was signed' - McKenzie says he stopped son from getting job at NSWMA

Published:Wednesday | April 6, 2016 | 12:00 AMGary Spaulding

Colonel Daniel Pryce, the interim executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), has rubbished suggestions that a son of Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has been employed to the garbage disposal agency.

So did McKenzie, who told The Gleaner late yesterday that he had long given instructions to the management team of the NSWMA that his son should not be employed to the agency, for which he has portfolio responsibility, although the younger McKenzie had applied for a job on his own volition.

"My son applied to the NSWMA independently, through the normal channels, for a vacant position in the organisation," said McKenzie.

"He was interviewed and met all the requirements and was offered a position."

According to McKenzie, based on the dictates of Prime Minister Andrew Holness, he was advised of the developments by the management of the NSWMA before any contract was signed.

NO ASSISTANCE

"I gave immediate instructions that the transaction should be discontinued immediately," asserted McKenzie. "As the minister with responsibility for the NSWMA, I didn't think it would have been appropriate."

This is notwithstanding the fact that the 35-year-old man had not sought his assistance in getting the job, having met all the requirements laid down by the authority.

Said McKenzie: "In fact, no contract was signed. I have the documents in front of me and he could never be employed without a contract. I can assure the public, it is not so, and it will never be so."

He said claims that there was disquiet at the NSWMA is nothing short of mischief making.

"It is just unfortunate, but I can say without fear of a challenge that there is no contract in place."

Said Pryce: "He applied for a vacant position at the NSWMA and, having made the application, we (a panel of persons) interviewed him."

Pryce told The Gleaner that the younger McKenzie was deemed fit and qualified for the position.

"His experience would also do well for the position, and so we offered him.

"Out of an abundance of caution, when I discovered that it was the minister's son, I advised him that we are prepared to offer him a position," the colonel said.

Pryce said the minister "unequivocally told me, 'Don't go that route, I don't want that to happen' as he didn't see that course as being right and proper, and so no contract was signed".

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com