Former PCJ chair overstepped his bounds - OCG
Contractor General Dirk Harrison has determined that former Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Chairman Ian Moore acted outside of his authority in committing the Government to the purchase of ethanol from Infinity Bio-Energy.
In a report of a special investigation into the award of contracts to Infinity Bio-Energy and JB Ethanol in 2008, Harrison said Moore's position was that of a non-executive chairman and did not include involvement in the daily affairs of the PCJ.
"The actions of Mr Ian Moore, in finalising the one-off transaction with Infinity Bio-Energy, without (a) the authority of the then PCJ Board of Directors, (b) the knowledge of the then minister of energy and (c) the then group managing director, was improper and a blatant bypass of the PCJ's approval process," the report stated.
Harrison's report, tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday, said Moore's actions were not in keeping with good corporate governance and were in breach of Section 17(1) of the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act.
The section states that "every director and officer of a public body shall, in the exercise of his power and the performance of his duties - (a) act honestly and in good faith in the best interests of the public body; and (b) exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances, including, but not limited to, the general knowledge, skill and experience of the director or officer".
Then Energy Minister Clive Mullings fired Moore as chairman of the PCJ's board for committing the PCJ to "… contractual terms less than favourable to its interest".
The report states that there is no evidence to suggest that the Government had obtained value for money in purchasing the shipment of ethanol from Infinity Bio-Energy.
"This is buttressed by the position of the then minister, Hon Clive Mullings, who indicated that Mr Moore had confirmed the purchase of two shipments at an agreed price above market value. This was also highlighted in the PAAC (Public Administration and Appropriations Committee) chaired by Dr Wykeham McNeill on September 14, 2009. In the meeting, it was indicated by Dr Ruth Potopsingh that the price differential was $0.14 per gallon of ethanol," the report states.
It added: "There is no evidence to suggest that any attempt was made to ensure that the cost of the ethanol was reasonable. Moore did not make an effort to consult with anyone regarding the cost of the ethanol. He was also negligent in assuming what the cost would be instead of discussing the actual cost of the ethanol with Infinity Bio-Energy. It was after the issue of cost arose that he began to question whether the emails between him and Infinity Bio-Energy could be considered a contract."
Last night, The Gleaner was unable to contact Moore for a response.