Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Mikael Phillips says JUTC director misled Parliament on overstaffing issue

Published:Saturday | October 14, 2017 | 6:07 PM

Opposition spokesman on transport Mikael Phillips is accusing the Managing Director of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Paul Abrahams of misleading the Parliament on the level of over staffing at the entity.

Phillips is also accusing Transport Minister Mike Henry of misleading the nation on the staffing controversy at the JUTC.

Abrahams told Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee that the state-owned bus company has 500 more employees than is required and said it is costing the government  $300 million annually.

Speaking during a press conference yesterday, Henry placed the number at 420.

In a statement this afternoon, Phillips said not only were the figures contradictory, but asserted that they were not based on any detailed analysis of the JUTC's operation.

He was critical of the transport minister, charging that a JUTC  management audit Henry promised last year has still not commenced.

The Opposition spokesman argues that over staffing has to be determined by a rigorous analysis operations and the human and financial resources required to carry out these functions.

Meanwhile, the Opposition spokesman is defending the stewardship of the previous board and management of the JUTC.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck this week blamed the previous People's National Party (PNP) administration for the over staffing at the state-owned bus company and claimed it was done as political patronage.

However, Phillips says the Portia Simpson Miller administration did not employ more persons than were necessary to carry out the JUTC's mandate.

He says all hiring were done with the knowledge and approval of the finance ministry.

Phillips says the government is trying to deflect attention from the actions of the current leadership of the JUTC to rid the entity of qualified professionals and replacing them with unqualified political activists.