PAJ – Excessive retirement benefits provided to former employees without Ministry of Finance approval

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Auditor General's Findings

The employment contracts for 14 senior officers provided for the payment of a retirement benefit, at the discretion of the Board. However, the requisite approval was not sought from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, in breach of that Ministry’s guidelines. In particular, one of the 14 senior officers benefitted from three pensions valued at $120,000, $56.2 million and US$554,164 respectively, while in receipt of gratuity totalling $31.33 million covering the contract period November 2004 to October 2013. The contract of another senior officer who was already in receipt of pension from the Consolidated Fund also provided for the payment of a second retirement benefit, plus gratuity amounting to $6.6 million for the period April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015.

Permanent Secretary (current): Audrey Sewell

Permanent Secretary (at breach): Audrey Sewell

Breach Category: Project Management

Breach Type: Overpayments (Purchases, Salaries and Allowances)

  • Breach Details
  • Articles & Reports
  • Accountable Officers
  • Calls To Action

Status: Full Compliance

Year Reported: 2016

Last Assessed: July 12, 2018

Year Resolved: 2018

RECOMMENDATION

In the absence of explicit approval from the MoFPS, PAJ should take steps to recover amounts overpaid in respect of retirement benefit and gratuity payments. Further, PAJ should ensure employment contracts conform to provisions of the PBMA Act and Ministry of Finance circulars and guidelines.

The responsible officer (s) who approved the unauthorized benefits should be advised that they could be subjected to administrative action in accordance with the PBMA Act.

JAMP UPDATE

No response to date from the Office of the Prime Minister that has oversight of the entity or from the Port Authority.

Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell CD, JP Office of the Prime Minister,
1 Devon Road,
Kingston 10,
Jamaica
876-926-1590
The Most Hon. Andrew Holness ON, MP Office of the Prime Minister,
1 Devon Road,
Kingston 10,
Jamaica
(876) 927-9941 View profile in MP Tracker
President & CEO Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) Professor, The Hon. Gordon Shirley OJ

No Calls To Action are currently associated with this breach.

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