Senior exec involved in recruitment company —
Nepotism at NWRHA
By Lara Pickford-Gordon, www.newsday.co.tt/stories.php?article_id=23391
The North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) yesterday admitted that a company run by the relative of a senior executive has been used for recruitment for senior positions. During a television interview yesterday, Dr Petronella Manning-Alleyne, head of the neonatal unit of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, criticised the hiring practices in the NWRHA and the process of selecting people to fill vacancies. "How can one expect to do any better when a person who is a senior member of the Board professes to advertise a senior position, people are interviewed and at the same time the company on which your name appears on the letterhead is recruiting?"
Manning-Alleyne also said the senior Board member also sits on the interview committee, "and at the end of it the one who came through your company gets the job." At a media briefing at the Health Ministry on Park Street, Health Minister John Rahael said he heard the remark. He said, "(The) NWRHA went out for human resource and among those the chairman has interest in one of those HR companies and they also provide personnel for North West." Rahael asked NWRHA CEO Cynthia Carrington-Murray, who was sitting next to him at the media briefing, if this was true and she responded, "Yes." Asked what positions the company was involved in recruiting for, she said vice-president human resources and vice-president finance.
Asked if this was a conflict of interest, Carrington-Murray turned to the Health Minister and replied, "Yes." Rahael replied, "Well tell them that." He told the media that the ministry was not aware of the situation and Chairman Hugh Eastman will have to respond. "We will check with the Board too." Eastman is out of the country and due to return today. "When he comes back we will enquire what exactly transpired. I want to get the proper information before we respond. I urge you to wait until the chairman responds to find out if it met with Board approval." Carrington said although the company is named "Eastman and Eastman," she did not know if the chairman had shares. Permanent Secretary Reynold Cooper said anyone with an interest in a matter that came before the Board must declare their interest and should not be part of discussions. Cooper said they must vacate the room. Asked if the chairman was part of any interview panel, Carrington-Murray said he was on the HR panel to fill the HR vacancy.
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