Former Petrojam chairman granted 26 foreign trips in 18 months
Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer
Former chairman of Petrojam Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh was paid more than $US75,000 by the state agency as reimbursement for airline tickets he said he purchased, including at least one dated after the event he was scheduled to attend.
Petrojam also paid Bahado-Singh US$550 per annum in airline benefit.
Details of the payments were made during yesterday’s sitting of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) as the operations of Petrojam remained under the microscope.
Telroy Morgan, the acting General Manager for Refinery Optimization and Business Support at Petrojam, faced the PAAC instead of its General Manager Floyd Grindley who told the committee he had emergency family business overseas and could not attend.
Morgan told the meeting that Bahado-Singh, who does not live in Jamaica, was reimbursed nearly $10 million for 26 overseas trips between December 23, 2016 and May 10, 2018.
He was also reimbursed for trips he did not attend.
The money for at least two of these trips has since been repaid to Petrojam.
Morgan said Bahado-Singh was reimbursed for a London and Brazil trips totalling more than US$17,000 which he later returned to PetroJam.
The PAAC was told that Grindley gave written instructions for all matters involving the former chairman, including payments and reimbursements, many with only airline itinerary and no meeting itinerary.
Bahado-Singh’s direct purchasing of tickets did not receive the prior approval of the permanent secretary and was in breach of the company’s procedure.
“For the chairman, based on our review of the facts and data, those didn’t follow the regular protocol in terms of getting the PS’s approval, because based on the schedules that we have provided and upon examining the facts, the chairman took it upon himself to make those purchases directly in terms of his airline tickets,” said the acting chief financial officer, Carlene Evans.