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.
— 30 —