The National Commission for Self-Help Ltd (NCSHL) was yesterday described as a dysfunctional, “rogue entity” by the Public Accounts (Enterprises) Committee (PAEC) which grilled Chairman Edgar Zephryine on unauthorised appointments, purchase of laptops without permission and lack of minutes provided to the relevant authorities.
“It appears to where we sit that this organisation has gone rogue. This is a rogue organisation and you are doing your own thing as chairman,” said PAEC Chairman Wade Mark.
The PAEC met on Wednesday with officials of the Self-Help Commission and the Finance Ministry Investments Division at Tower D, Parliament building, Port of Spain.
Mark asked Zephyrine who was the effective head of the commission and Zephyrine responded it was current Administrative Head Janice Phillips.
He said Phillips had been appointed after the CEO was suspended in 2017 on disciplinary grounds by the board, a decision for which NCSHL was being sued in court.
He reported Phillips, formerly senior projects officer, was receiving $25,000 a month inclusive of allowances while a CEO’s normal salary would be $41,000 a month.
He added the decision for Phillips appointment as Administrative Head was made without any consultation of the permanent secretary or line minister.
PAEC member Jennifer Baptiste-Primus said when a CEO was on leave the normal process was to have an acting CEO and asked why this was not the case. Zephyrine responded it was the board’s decision not to have an acting CEO but an administrative head as an interim arrangement, a post that did not exist in the approved organisational structure.
“The board cannot whimsically create posts. You have to get approval for these things,” Mark said.