Yolande Ramharrack, the former human resource manager hired by Petrojam without the required academic qualification, received a gross separation payment $9.2 million even though there were “unresolved issues” related to her employment at the state-owned oil refinery.
Further, the scandal-scarred entity made a gross separation payment of $7.2 million to its former general manager, Floyd Grindley.
After deductions, Ramharrack walked away with $4.1 million while Grindley got $3.8 million.
The figures were made public today in responses provided to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament by Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Sancia Bennett Templer and executives at Petrojam.
Bennett Templer initially told the PAC that the net payout to Grindley was $5.2 million
However, acting General Manager at Petrojam Winston Watson acknowledged that he had misled her about the actual figure.
The payout to Ramharrack was communicated to members of the PAC in the absence of the media after Bennett Templer insisted she could not discuss it publicly based on legal advice from the Attorney General.
However, after a brief discussion in a private room, PAC chairman Mark Golding made the figure public.
He blasted the payment to Ramharrack as “highly irregular.”
“She has received this payment without issues being resolved,” said Golding, making reference to the disciplinary process that was in progress at the time.
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Ramharrack was reportedly facing 19 misconduct charges at time of resignation
RJR News has received further information regarding the events in the lead-up to the sudden resignation of Yolande Ramharrack, Petrojam’s Human Resources Manager, in November last year.
It’s understood that Miss Ramharrack was facing 19 charges of misconduct at the time of her November 22 departure from the state run-oil refinery. These include providing inaccurate information regarding the improper use of funds for two parties held by Petrojam at hotels.
Miss Ramharrack was also accused of divulging inaccurate information concerning the employment of her brother at Petrojam.
She was facing a three-member disciplinary committee at the time of her resignation. The members of that committee were attorneys Patrick Foster QC and Gareth Forbes as well as industrial relations specialist Christopher Bond.
Mr. Foster was the chairman.
The committee commenced hearings on October 26 and continued three days later.
Several witnesses, including Petrojam’s General Manager Winston Watson, gave testimony on behalf of the refinery.
According to information received by RJR News, the committee was scheduled to continue disciplinary hearings against Miss Ramharrack on November 28 and 29.
Members of the committee were then informed by Petrojam however that their services would no longer be needed as Miss Ramharrack had resigned.
News emerged last week that Ms Ramharrack was paid $9.2 million to leave Petrojam despite incomplete disciplinary procedures against her in relation to several alleged breaches.
There were assertions that the severance payment and the signing of a non-disclosure agreement were meant to shield the government from embarrassment.
That has been strongly denied by Prime Minister Andrew Holness who declared on Sunday that he will be tabling Miss Ramharrack’s employment contract in Parliament
Mr Holness said the decision was made to ensure full transparency.