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JSC hears: National Quarries hired one person 49 times

Published: 
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Chairman of the Joint Select Committee on State Enterprises, Mr David Small during the sitting yesterday.

Questions have been raised regarding the contracting of one person at least 49 times by State-entity National Quarries to conduct training in the Information Technology (IT) field.

The issue was brought to the fore during yesterday’s Joint Select Committee (JSC) meeting which was chaired by Independent Senator David Small and held in Parliament.

Raising the matter was former Government Minister Fazal Karim who said, “Outsourcing ...basically in terms of Microsoft, computer literacy and Excel is being outsourced to one person 49 times.

“In an organisation where we are talking about austerity in the country where we want to build the resource it might be something you would want to look at,” Karim added.

It was also heard that the IT department only comprised two people, one an officer and the other an assistant.

“I am seeing here in the document that people are going to the Adult Literacy Tutors Association (ALTA). Are people aware of what ALTA courses are for?” Karim asked.

ALTA provides free reading, writing and spelling classes for adults (16 plus) in T&T.

The organisation’s chairman, Ulric Warner, in response said, “The percentage of people who can literally read and write and who are in significant positions in this organisation...we have to be careful with it.”

The committee also heard from the Warner that upon the instillation of the new board it was discovered that training in critical roles were in dire need in the areas of human resource and at the supervisory level.

“There was no one in the internal audit function...the internal audit was not done for years. In terms of HR, there was no one with any significant HR training. In terms of procurement...there was nothing in procurement...procurement was, ‘I know you and you can deliver so I will give you the job to do.

“So we had to get the right kinds of staff and we spent time in seeking to get that kind of staff,” Warner said.

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