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A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

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A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby eliteauto » March 13th, 2012, 6:51 am

PM’S PRICEY SISTER
India trip: Kamla’s travel assistant costs $233,600
Some $4.6 million was spent for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and an official approved Cabinet delegation, which included her travel assistant—who is her sister, Vidwatie Newton, to travel to India in January.
Newton’s total expenditure was $233,600.
This was disclosed yesterday by Leader of Government Business Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal.
He was responding to questions on the Order Paper at the Parliament sitting, at Tower D of the International Waterfront Centre in Port of Spain, which were posed by Opposition MP Donna Cox with respect to the Prime Minister’s trip.
Persad-Bissessar and a delegation of close to 200 people, official and unofficial, journeyed to India from January 4 to 15, where she (Persad-Bissessar) was invited by the Indian Government on an official state visit.
Persad-Bissessar was the chief guest at India’s annual Pravasi Bharatiaya Divas (PBD) conference, where she received that country’s highest award given to persons of Indian origin outside of India.
During the visit, Persad-Bissessar held a number of bilateral meetings with private and public entities in India in an attempt to woo investors to this country and position Trinidad and Tobago as India’s gateway to the South American markets.
Moonilal’s response to the questions provoked heated supplementary questions from Cox, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley and Opposition MP Colm Imbert—who all demanded he (Moonilal) also provide the costs incurred by all State enterprises and State agencies that also accompanied the Prime Minister on the trip.
He kept repeating that members of the Opposition must file separate questions to each Minister to get details on the costs incurred by State agencies under their purview.
According to figures given by Moonilal, a total of $1,905,162 was expended by the Office of the Prime Minister; the Ministry of Public Utilities, $200,860; Transport Ministry, $264,583; Energy Ministry, $340,882; and the National Security Ministry, $436,740.
Responding to Cox, who noted that her questions asked specifically for the costs incurred by State enterprises as well, Moonilal said the figures he provided are for each Ministry and Cox would have the pose the relevant question to other Ministers. These figures, he said, were approved by the Cabinet.
“Are we to understand that the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago is saying that her office has no responsibility for the State enterprise sector on a trip which she led to India?” asked Rowley.
Moonilal repeated that questions must be filed to the relevant Minister, who will be pleased to provide answers.
Moonilal then answered Cox’s second question with respect to the trip, where he gave a breakdown of costs incurred at each Ministry.
Imbert questioned whether people from State enterprises were included on that list.
Moonilal reiterated that the names and designations he provided relate to those approved by Cabinet and members of State enterprises would have their records, which the Opposition was free to query.
“Can the Minister confirm that no public funds were expended on any person in the capacity of a non-Government official?” asked Rowley.
Moonilal said Opposition members are aware that there were people from State enterprises and Government agencies who went on the trip and State funds were expended behind them. He added that India was “not a completely cheap place to travel to” and noted that Rowley would soon know this, as he (Rowley) will be travelling there soon.
Rowley said he was asking specifically about non-Government officials, as Moonilal repeated that the information he provided was from the approved Cabinet list.
Moonilal further noted that Foreign Affairs and Communications Minister Suruj Rambachan had provided a detailed statement on the state visit as it relates to developing this country’s economic strategies.
Moonilal added that the Prime Minister’s trip was building on previous visits to India—including one led by now deceased former People’s National Movement Government Minister Ken Valley, who he said led a delegation to the Far East in 2007, at a cost of $10 million.
“This builds on the good work conducted by the former administration... it is not our purpose here to condemn the cost of the former administration but to indicate, Mr Speaker, that this trip was geared at opening markets in Trinidad and Tobago, it was also geared to developing trade links and, Mr Speaker, the cost was incurred to that end,” said Moonilal.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/PMS ... 52983.html

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby eliteauto » March 13th, 2012, 6:54 am

I NEED MY SISTER
PM defends relative’s foreign travel costs


Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has defended her sister’s travelling costs even as new figures reveal that Vidwatie Newton has cost taxpayers on trips to Brazil, London and Australia.
The Office of the Prime Minister spent $338,329.19 for Newton to accompany Persad-Bissessar to Australia from October 19 to November 6, 2011.
The figures were contained in a note prepared for Cabinet obtained by the Sunday Express.
Newton, described as travel assistant to the Prime Minister, was given a per diem equivalent to a public servant.
In London, from the period October 19 to 21 and again on November 3-5, she was allowed accommodation of £350 a day.
Her per diem was £145 a day totalling $9,422.00.
In Dubai from October 21-23 she was given a accommodation valued at US$278 a day, which totalled US$834 (TT$5,362.62).
Her per diem was US$155 a day which totalled $1,993.30.
In Perth, Australia, for the period October 24 to 30, no accommodation expenses were incurred as the delegation was accommodated by the Australian Government.
Her per diem was US$155 a day which totalled $6,976.55
In Hong Kong from October 31 to November 4, an allowance of $23,089.52 was paid for accommodation with a per diem of US$155 a day which totalled $3,986.60.
On Friday, it was revealed that Newton incurred expenditure of $233,600 as a member of Persad-Bissessar’s delegation to India from January 4 to 16.

The 14-member team from the office of the Prime Minister- which included Persad-Bissessar’s husband Dr Gregory Bissessar and a personal assistant Mila Loredo—totalled $2,341,891.
Yesterday Persad-Bissessar defended her sister’s travel costs as much as she’s had to defend her own during her 22 months in office.
“I think any person who does the kind of job that I do would requires someone to assist them personally,” said Persad-Bissessar as she defended Newton’s travel cost on her January journey to India.
Describing as “political mischief” the signalling out of Newton’s travel sum, the Prime Minister said she relies on her sister when she travels.
“It has been done before my time. She travels with me,” said Persad-Bissessar.
“I trust my sister. I feel comfortable with having her handling my personal matters like food and medication. It is vital. It allows me to spend more time on my job,” she said.
“Indeed, I am advised that former prime minister (Arthur N R) Robinson would take his son as his travel assistant,” she told reporters at the Maha Sabha Phagwa celebrations at the Tunapuna Hindu School yesterday.
Earlier, during a brief interview with the Sunday Express, she said she needed Newton to manage her busy schedule.
Newton has travelled frequently with Persad-Bissessar during her time in office.
She’s accompanied her on several trips to New York, Washington, to the UK, to Brazil and recently Australia and India.
Last September, Persad-Bissessar, in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express said Newton was not employed or paid by the government.
She said then: “I do give her some of my own money because she has to live.”

“She was gainfully employed for many years and I am very grateful to her for helping me. I can trust her with my personal things: my food, my clothing. She came for the internal election and within weeks when Mr Manning called the general election I had to say ‘come back’. She came immediately and has been here ever since,” she told the Express on September 25 last year.
“It’s just political mischief they are up to as usual,” she said yesterday.
The Prime Minister leaves today on a state trip to Panama.
She said the Government intends to sign several agreements with Panama with regard to trade and energy given that Panama was “interested in buying bitumen from us”.
In return, Trinidad and Tobago will be offered “bunkering facilities” at the Panama Canal.
Meanwhile, Persad-Bissessar said as far as she was aware Tobago Affairs Minister Vernella Alleyne-Toppin does not owe any money on her Government credit card.
“I said all I had to say on the no-confidence motion,” she said.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/I-N ... 14755.html

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby eliteauto » March 13th, 2012, 6:57 am

ROBBIE NEVER DID IT
Dumas says Kamla wrong: Former PM's son was not his travel assistant
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's statement that former prime minister Arthur NR Robinson used to take his son, David, as his travel assistant on overseas trips has been vigorously challenged by a number of persons in the know.

Persad-Bissessar in defending her decision to take her sister, Vidwatie Newton, at taxpayers' expense on official trips with her, told reporters on Saturday: "It has been done before my time...Indeed, I am advised that former prime minister Robinson would take his son as his travel assistant".

She dismissed queries relating to her sister's travel costs, first raised by the Opposition in Parliament last Friday, as mischief.

Newton has accompanied the Prime Minister to several trips including Brazil, Australia, London and Hong Kong.

Former permanent secretary to the Prime Minister, Reginald Dumas, said yesterday he had "absolutely no recollection whatsoever of Robinson's son ever being on any Trinidad and Tobago delegation (travelling overseas)".

"In my experience working with him as prime minister, David was never on any Trinidad and Tobago delegation," he said during a telephone interview.

"Mr Robinson would not do that. He is not that kind of person to have his child or sibling travel with him and say it is his travel assistant. That is not the kind of person he is," Dumas said.

He added that Robinson did not even have a personal assistant.

"And as for anyone travelling with him as he travel assistant, forget it!" Dumas said.

Former attorney general in National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) administration (1986-1991), Anthony Smart, also said yesterday he was unaware of Robinson's son travelling with him as an assistant.

In fact, Smart recalled that the opportunity came up during the NAR tenure to have personal assistants to help in the respective constituency offices, he (Smart) considered hiring a relative who was familiar with his constituents but when he discussed the matter with Robinson, Robinson told him that he didn't think it was a good idea.

And former prime minister Basdeo Panday said yesterday he could not understand what was going on.

"This is a peculiar and unusual case. It is not a hired person. The Prime Minister has said she (Newton) is not an employee of the Government. If you are employed and paid by the State to do anything, one can understand that. But this is not the case. This is the Prime Minister who has her sister...who accompanies her at State expense. This is a case of having her sister or your mother travel with you and then chalking up a bill on one trip of $245,000. And nobody (except the Prime Minister) knows what her function is," he said.

Panday said he had no personal assistant while he served as prime minister, though he said there were persons attached to the Office of the Prime Minister working for the Government.

On Saturday, Persad-Bissessar said: "I trust my sister. I feel comfortable with having her handling my personal matters like food and medication. It is vital. It allows me to spend more time on my job."

One source who worked with Robinson as Prime Minister said there was no instance when his son travelled with him as a travel assistant while he served as prime minister.

"I know nothing about that. At no time did it happen," the source said. The source added that it also never happened while Robinson served as President.

"When he was President if anyone of his family travelled with him, they did so at his (Robinson's) expense," the source said.

"Mr Robinson would use his own means," the source said.

The source recalled on one occasion when David joined his father in New York, USA, he (David) paid his own way.

The source added that on another occasion, Robinson's daughter Margaret-Ann journeyed with him, but it was not a charge on the State coffers.

Another source said one had to bear in mind that the Prime Minister has said Newton does not get paid.

"So how did the State come to spend so much money on her. The Prime Minister said repeatedly that it was the Government of India which paid for hotel accommodation and meals. So how come the Government spent nearly as much on her as the Prime Minister herself? How is it possible if the Government of India were meeting her expense? " the source asked.

The figures given in Parliament include the cost of a first class ticket to India, which is around is $70,000. Noting that the $233,000 was essentially a per diem allowance, the source said the per diem usually covers hotel expenses plus meals and transport.

"If the Government of India was paying these bills, what does the per diem cover and how did they arrive at $233,000 for Mrs Newton. What then is going on?" the source asked.

Foreign Affairs Minister Suruj Rambachan has said repeatedly that "all costs" for the Prime Minister's official delegation of 12 were covered by the Indian Government.

He pointed out that even the cost of "internal transport" was covered by that Government which provided an airbus for the delegation to travel to various cities.

Robinson did not return calls seeking clarification on the issue.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/ROB ... 17025.html

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby nervewrecker » March 13th, 2012, 6:58 am

Okkkk....so state $$$ hadda spend to carry the sister? Why dont she pay for her out of her own pocket? What these people spend their salary on?

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby eliteauto » March 13th, 2012, 7:15 am

I have no issue with the PM hiring her sister in a private capacity, but some things stand out here
1) if she is not a State employee why is her travel and per diem paid for by the State?
2)Wasn't the India trip claimed to be paid for by the Indian Gov't?
3) There seems to be a trend by this Gov't to claim precedent when questioned about their practices, am I to assume they are supporting the past administrations in their practices? Is the PP the same as the PNM then, since they seem to be doing the same thing?

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby dougla_boy » March 13th, 2012, 7:28 am

elite, the same thing ran through my mind when i saw the figures released the other day..........sigh..........this gubberment real playing up.......

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby mediahouse » March 13th, 2012, 7:49 am

all government does teef.................. better pp teef and be in power dan pnm teef and be in power

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby Dizzy28 » March 13th, 2012, 8:33 am

mediahouse wrote:all government does teef.................. better pp teef and be in power dan pnm teef and be in power


:shock: :shock: You be mad brah?

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby TriP » March 13th, 2012, 8:35 am

Cheapest place to buy Alcohol???

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby COROLLA KID » March 13th, 2012, 8:35 am

until i start driving on some smooth road all government is crap, cuz thats the least they can do since we own a freaking pitch lake!!....she gone panama and boasting last night on news "world famous pitch lake" but yet Trini roads like sheit........allot off topic i know but it pisses me off

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby kevcam » March 13th, 2012, 8:39 am

eliteauto wrote:3) There seems to be a trend by this Gov't to claim precedent when questioned about their practices, am I to assume they are supporting the past administrations in their practices? Is the PP the same as the PNM then, since they seem to be doing the same thing?


This is one of the most sickening things they keep doing over and over. Usually is the PNM did it so we can do it too. Now like they can't find anything about the PNM they gone to Robbie and the NAR. Steups.....


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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby douglaking » March 13th, 2012, 8:43 am

Image

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby hustla_ambition101 » March 13th, 2012, 8:50 am

mediahouse wrote:all government does teef.................. better pp teef and be in power dan pnm teef and be in power


can we get a jackass braying emoticon......or a meme would suffice too

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby rfari » March 13th, 2012, 8:51 am

mediahouse wrote:all government does teef.................. better pp teef and be in power dan pnm teef and be in power

That's what PP supporters resort to now?

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby nervewrecker » March 13th, 2012, 8:54 am

hustla_ambition101 wrote:
mediahouse wrote:all government does teef.................. better pp teef and be in power dan pnm teef and be in power


can we get a jackass braying emoticon......or a meme would suffice too


I still donno how to even reply to him nah.

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby De Dragon » March 13th, 2012, 8:55 am

I can't see why big people who supposed to be lawyers,doctors etc, can't seem to see the obvious conflicts that these things inevitably bring. Is there honestly noone else remotely qualified to do this?Bearing in mind she already has a personal assistant eh! Also, this he/she/it/PNM/NAR did it too is wearing real thin now too.

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby Hook » March 13th, 2012, 8:57 am

eliteauto wrote:I have no issue with the PM hiring her sister in a private capacity, but some things stand out here
me either...is not like the position was tendered or anything...no beef there

1) if she is not a State employee why is her travel and per diem paid for by the State?
contract ting dan...just like Sacha...dey running from dat...the only one actually appointed was Reshmi/Sashie(?) and look what happened

2)Wasn't the India trip claimed to be paid for by the Indian Gov't?
this is what I thought as well...so which is it, really, them or us?

3) There seems to be a trend by this Gov't to claim precedent when questioned about their practices, am I to assume they are supporting the past administrations in their practices? Is the PP the same as the PNM then, since they seem to be doing the same thing?
"...you t'ief, I t'ief, he t'ief, she t'ief! All ah we t'ief!"...vote for "change", think yuh get "exchange" but is really "short change" :lol: now that's some bullsh|t right thurrr

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby VexXx Dogg » March 13th, 2012, 9:02 am

eliteauto wrote:I have no issue with the PM hiring her sister in a private capacity, but some things stand out here
1) if she is not a State employee why is her travel and per diem paid for by the State?
2)Wasn't the India trip claimed to be paid for by the Indian Gov't?
3) There seems to be a trend by this Gov't to claim precedent when questioned about their practices, am I to assume they are supporting the past administrations in their practices? Is the PP the same as the PNM then, since they seem to be doing the same thing?

As transparent as a brick.
We like it so.

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby sharkman121 » March 13th, 2012, 9:04 am

rfari wrote:
mediahouse wrote:all government does teef.................. better pp teef and be in power dan pnm teef and be in power

That's what PP supporters resort to now?

not now!!! since the day they came in power

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby Dizzy28 » March 13th, 2012, 9:07 am

Well as former PNM Minister Desmond Carthy prophetically once said.."All ah we tief" Trinidad just cursed with this affliction.

What bothers me is that a huge majority of the Ministers are well to do in their personal lives but yet still find it necessary to engage in some questionable practices.

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby Hook » March 13th, 2012, 9:28 am

I'd paste Kam's face on this, but it already gets the message across as is

Image

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby eliteauto » March 13th, 2012, 9:48 am

Ministry funds Fuad’s fete

THE Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) Stacy Harricharan, who was fired by the ERHA board and rehired four days after, has found herself in the middle of a controversy once more, this time over the purchase of $50,000 worth of tickets to a fete hosted by a company which bears the name of Health Minister Dr. Fuad Khan.

The ERHA falls under the Ministry of Health, which is responsible for its budgetary allocation. And Mirror has discovered that similar purchases of fete tickets were made by the other RHAs to the fete held in the Ministers name.

Mirror has learnt that Harricharan bought the tickets for staff to attend the Fuad Khan and Friends All-inclusive Carnival fete titled ‘Hot Samba Nights’ held at Pier 1 on Sunday January 29.

The fete is an initiative of the Health Minister from which “net profit” proceeds are said to go to charity and was heavily patronised by health sector officials as well as politicians and members of the public. The “net profit” this year was intended for the Autistic Society, which, thus far, has received no payments. Ticket price for the all-inclusive fete, which included a premium bar, was $750.

Harricharan, who was fired by the board of directors on February 10, 2012, two weeks after the fete, before being re-hired on February 14 on the instructions of the Minister, is said to have ordered the tickets for the fete as a gift to the directors and staff of the ERHA.

Staffers were said to be appalled by the move since the ERHA is reportedly suffering from shortage of key equipment as well as critical supplies needed for the care of the hundreds of patients who use the facility on a weekly basis. The ERHA is responsible for the administration and management of the Sangre Grande Hospital, the Mayaro District Health Facility and a network of 15 health centres stretching from Valencia to Toco.

Harricharan, who is said to be in her late twenties, was appointed CEO in August 2011 but was said to have failed to convince the directors she had the mandated 10 years’ experience necessary for the position.

According to media reports, the board, under the chairmanship of Dr. Stephen Bhagan, brother-in-law to Dr. Khan, after seeking legal advice in the matter, issued a termination letter to Harricharan. She was also given a cheque for $115,000, which represented three months’ salary.

But following Khan’s intervention she was rehired and on Ash Wednesday, February 23, she returned to work, since no reason could be given for her dismissal. Khan also expressed concerns about the manner in which the CEO was being terminated, which he said ran contrary to good industrial relations practices.

No menion was made, however, of the decision to purchase the party tickets in the decision to fire or rehire. Despite numerous attempts, Mirror was unable to contact Harricharan but chairman of the board Dr. Bhagan, when contacted, said he believes the ERHA bought the $50,000 worth of tickets because it was for a “charitable cause.”

“All the RHAs bought tickets,” he said.

He confirmed that the Autistic Society was the intended beneficiary of the proceeds.

For his part, Dr. Khan says he is not involved with the staging of the fete anymore.

“I don’t run the fete anymore. I handed it over to my associate,” he said explaining that “Fuad Khan and Friends” is a company. He explained, however, that his associate, Jeffrey Paguandas, had indicated to him that he had come up with a system in which he gave tickets to those persons who in turn made a donation to the fete.

He also sought to clarify his role in the re-employment of Harricharan, who he said was never given a chance to be heard prior to her dismissal.

“That whole thing was bungled…if a person is to be terminated it must be done properly.”

Khan admitted that he had to mediate a whole lot of wrongful dismissals, including Paula Chester-Cumberbatch, who was fired by the former health minister Therese Baptise-Cornelis from the South West RHA.

“There is a lot more happening than what meets the eyes, “ he said, pointing to the questionable behaviour of some board members, who, he claimed, made unreasonable demands from ancillary staff demanding services which by law they are not supposed to do.

Mirror also spoke with, Panguandas, who while he could not speak directly to the issue of the $50,000 worth of Carnival fete tickets, confirmed that approaches were made to “all different institutions to purchase tickets for our events, both government and private sector.”

He said the company was still in the process of collecting outstanding monies from ticket sales and paying the various goods and service providers for the fete.

“It takes at least three months after the events to have everything sorted out. It is not an easy thing to manage since some people do not even honour their promise to pay for the tickets,” he said.

Panguadas admitted that often he has had to pay bills out of his pocket, until all the ticket sales are in, and could not honour their promise to the Autistic Society until everything is settled.

President of the Autistic Society Teresina Sieunarine says the matter will be discussed when her executive meets on Saturday.

http://www.tntmirror.com/2012/03/11/min ... fuads-fete


is ah dog show? :?

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby dougla_boy » March 13th, 2012, 9:52 am

eh well..........the Ammens powder has a lot to do with it eh.......

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby Dizzy28 » March 13th, 2012, 9:57 am

^^ I remember I posted a thread on the CEO of ERHA and it was removed within 10 mins. Feel a bit vindicated by this and a few of the other revelations made in the news including the Express.

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby sMASH » March 13th, 2012, 10:09 am

De Dragon wrote:I can't see why big people who supposed to be lawyers,doctors etc, can't seem to see the obvious conflicts that these things inevitably bring. Is there honestly noone else remotely qualified to do this?Bearing in mind she already has a personal assistant eh! Also, this he/she/it/PNM/NAR did it too is wearing real thin now too.



ya unnah-stan!!!!!

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby VexXx Dogg » March 13th, 2012, 10:10 am

*hears the faint bleating of sheep*

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby MG Man » March 13th, 2012, 10:27 am

eliteauto wrote:I have no issue with the PM hiring her sister in a private capacity, but some things stand out here
1) if she is not a State employee why is her travel and per diem paid for by the State?
2)Wasn't the India trip claimed to be paid for by the Indian Gov't?
3) There seems to be a trend by this Gov't to claim precedent when questioned about their practices, am I to assume they are supporting the past administrations in their practices? Is the PP the same as the PNM then, since they seem to be doing the same thing?

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby crazybalhead » March 13th, 2012, 10:30 am

eliteauto wrote:Ministry funds Fuad’s fete

THE Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) Stacy Harricharan, who was fired by the ERHA board and rehired four days after, has found herself in the middle of a controversy once more, this time over the purchase of $50,000 worth of tickets to a fete hosted by a company which bears the name of Health Minister Dr. Fuad Khan.

The ERHA falls under the Ministry of Health, which is responsible for its budgetary allocation. And Mirror has discovered that similar purchases of fete tickets were made by the other RHAs to the fete held in the Ministers name.

Mirror has learnt that Harricharan bought the tickets for staff to attend the Fuad Khan and Friends All-inclusive Carnival fete titled ‘Hot Samba Nights’ held at Pier 1 on Sunday January 29.

The fete is an initiative of the Health Minister from which “net profit” proceeds are said to go to charity and was heavily patronised by health sector officials as well as politicians and members of the public. The “net profit” this year was intended for the Autistic Society, which, thus far, has received no payments. Ticket price for the all-inclusive fete, which included a premium bar, was $750.

Harricharan, who was fired by the board of directors on February 10, 2012, two weeks after the fete, before being re-hired on February 14 on the instructions of the Minister, is said to have ordered the tickets for the fete as a gift to the directors and staff of the ERHA.

Staffers were said to be appalled by the move since the ERHA is reportedly suffering from shortage of key equipment as well as critical supplies needed for the care of the hundreds of patients who use the facility on a weekly basis. The ERHA is responsible for the administration and management of the Sangre Grande Hospital, the Mayaro District Health Facility and a network of 15 health centres stretching from Valencia to Toco.

Harricharan, who is said to be in her late twenties, was appointed CEO in August 2011 but was said to have failed to convince the directors she had the mandated 10 years’ experience necessary for the position.

According to media reports, the board, under the chairmanship of Dr. Stephen Bhagan, brother-in-law to Dr. Khan, after seeking legal advice in the matter, issued a termination letter to Harricharan. She was also given a cheque for $115,000, which represented three months’ salary.

But following Khan’s intervention she was rehired and on Ash Wednesday, February 23, she returned to work, since no reason could be given for her dismissal. Khan also expressed concerns about the manner in which the CEO was being terminated, which he said ran contrary to good industrial relations practices.

No menion was made, however, of the decision to purchase the party tickets in the decision to fire or rehire. Despite numerous attempts, Mirror was unable to contact Harricharan but chairman of the board Dr. Bhagan, when contacted, said he believes the ERHA bought the $50,000 worth of tickets because it was for a “charitable cause.”

“All the RHAs bought tickets,” he said.

He confirmed that the Autistic Society was the intended beneficiary of the proceeds.

For his part, Dr. Khan says he is not involved with the staging of the fete anymore.

“I don’t run the fete anymore. I handed it over to my associate,” he said explaining that “Fuad Khan and Friends” is a company. He explained, however, that his associate, Jeffrey Paguandas, had indicated to him that he had come up with a system in which he gave tickets to those persons who in turn made a donation to the fete.

He also sought to clarify his role in the re-employment of Harricharan, who he said was never given a chance to be heard prior to her dismissal.

“That whole thing was bungled…if a person is to be terminated it must be done properly.”

Khan admitted that he had to mediate a whole lot of wrongful dismissals, including Paula Chester-Cumberbatch, who was fired by the former health minister Therese Baptise-Cornelis from the South West RHA.

“There is a lot more happening than what meets the eyes, “ he said, pointing to the questionable behaviour of some board members, who, he claimed, made unreasonable demands from ancillary staff demanding services which by law they are not supposed to do.

Mirror also spoke with, Panguandas, who while he could not speak directly to the issue of the $50,000 worth of Carnival fete tickets, confirmed that approaches were made to “all different institutions to purchase tickets for our events, both government and private sector.”

He said the company was still in the process of collecting outstanding monies from ticket sales and paying the various goods and service providers for the fete.

“It takes at least three months after the events to have everything sorted out. It is not an easy thing to manage since some people do not even honour their promise to pay for the tickets,” he said.

Panguadas admitted that often he has had to pay bills out of his pocket, until all the ticket sales are in, and could not honour their promise to the Autistic Society until everything is settled.

President of the Autistic Society Teresina Sieunarine says the matter will be discussed when her executive meets on Saturday.

http://www.tntmirror.com/2012/03/11/min ... fuads-fete


is ah dog show? :?


WDMC???

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby Habit7 » March 13th, 2012, 10:40 am

But if the PM is staying at the presidential suite, shouldnt her assistant stay in the adjoining one?

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Re: A real issue or nitpicking? Kamla's P.A.

Postby 5onDfloor » March 13th, 2012, 11:56 am

There is an obvious question here that everyone seems to be dodging!!!

Should Kamla Bissessar resign for lieing to the populace about her sister employment?

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