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Candidates with master's and doctorates bypassed for USF CEO, PAAC told

Published:Wednesday | November 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/ Senior Parliamentary Reporter
Former CEO of the Universal Service Fund (USF) Suzette Camille Buchanan and USF chairman Robert Lawrence.

There are indications that the board of directors of the state-owned Universal Service Fund (USF) bypassed a number of candidates with a master's degree when it hired Suzette (Camille) Buchanan to head the agency.

The USF acknowledged, in a report to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC), that nearly all the 24 candidates shortlisted during the recruitment process had a master's degree.

Additionally, the USF report indicated that a number of the applicants had a doctorate.

Despite this, according to the USF  report to the PAAC, the applicant that was selected listed her qualifications as "an associate of science degree, city and guild certification and high school leaving certificate."

The disclosure triggered concerns among lawmakers during a meeting of the PAAC now under way at Gordon House in downtown Kingston.

Chairman of the committee, Dr Wykeham McNeill, suggested that members of the USF board be summoned to explain their decision to hire Buchanan.

"We need to understand how they arrived at that decision given the information that we now have," McNeill said.

He suggested that if the explanation is not "satisfactory", the PAAC should ask that the chairman of the USF board tender his resignation.

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