Holness Insists Petrojam Chose ‘Best of Bad Options’ in Settling with Ramharrak

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the decision by the Petrojam Board to agree to a $9-million settlement with former Human Resources Manager, Yolande Ramharrak was the best of two bad options which were on the table.

After deductions, Ramharrak received a net amount of just over $4-million.

Prime Minister Holness says the Petrojam board weighed all the options presented in a cost-benefit analysis and it was decided that it would be far cheaper for the government to settle the matter.

Holness told parliament that Miss Ramharrak was not a contract worker but employed on a permanent basis at Petrojam.

He noted that the cost-benefit analysis showed that if the disciplinary processes against Ramharrak were followed to their conclusion and the industrial dispute tribunal, IDT, engaged – those processes could’ve cost the Government over $25-million.

It’s understood that in their report to the entity’s Board, lawyers for Petrojam noted the lengthy process in dismissing a permanent employee from the public sector – including those who’ve been accused of breaches.

The lawyers reportedly advised Petrojam’s Board that should the IDT be engaged Miss Ramharrak had a 60-percent chance of succeeding if an unfair dismissal claim was brought.

Attorneys for Miss Ramharrak had reportedly written Petrojam and insisted that comments made at a parliamentary committee meeting by then Permanent Secretary in the OPM, Audrey Sewell, had prejudiced a pending disciplinary hearing which their client was to appear before.

Mrs. Sewell had told a recent PAAC meeting that charges were brought against Ramharrak with a view to dismissing her.

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