Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Petrojam Report | Former human resource manager engaged in acts of nepotism

Published:Wednesday | December 5, 2018 | 1:40 PM
A screenshot of Yolande Ramharrack during a parliamentary committee meeting in July 2018.

Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis, in a comprehensive audit of the beleaguered state-owned oil refinery, Petrojam, has highlighted that the agency's former human resource manager Yolande Ramharrack breached employment policies and engaged in acts of nepotism.

In her report, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday, Monroe Ellis said that her department found “instances where two individuals closely connected to employees of Petrojam were employed despite being rejected by the interviewing panel.

“In the first instance, an individual was initially interviewed on January 18, 2018, for the position of process engineer on the VDU project and was rejected by a four-member interview panel on the basis of lack of industry, engineering and project experience,” the report stated.

Monroe Ellis noted that three members of the panel were senior officers on the VDU project.

“Twenty-six days later, on February 13, 2018, the individual was re-interviewed for the same position by the Manager, Human Resources Development and Administration and the Technical Service Manager who were not part of the first interview panel.”

The report stated that the individual was then recommended “for a more strategic role on the project given intellect, expertise and strategic competencies”.

The Auditor General reported that the individual was employed as the head of the project in the capacity as Director, VDU project, a position which was not included on the staff structure for the VDU project.

According to the Auditor General, the move by Manager, HRDA and Technical Service Manager to overturn the decision of the interview panel without justification illustrates deficiencies in Petrojam’s recruitment process.

The report indicated that Ramharrack also employed her sibling in the position of Instrument and Electrical Technician, although the individual was rejected by the interview panel on May 10, 2017, on the basis of lack of experience and qualification.

“This engagement was an explicit act of nepotism,” she noted.

Ramharrack reportedly breached Petrojam’s Employment Policy, which prohibits the employment of siblings.

Further, Ramharrack’s sibling was shortlisted although the position was only advertised internally.

“In both instances, the Manager, HRDA also breached Section 1 of the Employment Policy, which states that ‘the employment and promotion of an individual will be based upon that individual experience, qualifications, competency, and potential’.”

A reliable source told The Gleaner that after Ramharrack was informed of the contents of the Auditor General’s report, her resignation letter was submitted to the management.

READ: Petrojam human resource manager resigns

Her resignation took effect on November 22.

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