Sun | Jan 17, 2021

No wrong doing at Petrojam says board

Published:Saturday | June 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh, chairman of Petrojam Limited

The board of directors of the state-owned Petrojam Refinery has rejected claims of any wrongdoing, even as the entity faces an audit by the Office of the Auditor General.

Just under two weeks ago, Opposition Spokesman on Science and Technology Julian Robinson called for a probe into the entity, as he charged that there was widespread nepotism and victimisation of staff who are standing up for principle.

Robinson also claimed that: "There are major project overruns that are taking place at Petrojam. What is happening at this state-owned agency is what I would call the wild, wild west. It requires the intervention of the auditor general to go in with immediate effect to examine what is taking place at this entity."

He further charged that: "Donations were made last year of $30 million to a number of entities ... where there is no proof that the donations have been made, for example, to a school to undertake a particular project."

But in a release, the six-member board, chaired by Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh, said that at all times the requisite approvals and review channels are utilised for every aspect of the company's business, including the award of contracts, the provision of donations and the implementation of projects.

"Donations are made to entities as part of our corporate social responsibility and in an effort to contribute to national development," said the release from the three Venezuelans and three Jamaicans who sit on the board of the refinery, which is owned 51 per cent by Jamaica and 49 per cent by Venezuela.

"As a statutory body and governed under a Joint Venture Agreement, the company acts with responsibility and transparency, while exercising due diligence in its affairs.

"We have always been a company frequently audited by our shareholders. Additionally, we are routinely audited by reputable firms and the auditor general to ensure that procedures are understood, respected and followed," added the board.

It said while much has been made about staff compensation at Petrojam, the record will show that the requisite salary ranges as approved by the Ministry of Finance in determining the appropriate remuneration for the recruitment of talent have been maintained.