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Probe into $700,000 backpay

Ishwar Jadoonanan

Ishwar Jadoonanan

PORT OF SPAIN — The deputy general manager at the Public Transportation Service Corporation was paid a lump sum of about $700,000 after he signed a contract on January 29, 2013, when he accepted the position, and the terms of employment were backdated to December 1, 2011.

At that time, Ishwar Jadoonanan was also employed at the Public Transportation Service Corporation as its human resources manager from 2010.

At the core of the issue is a probe being undertaken by the PTSC board.

As deputy general manager, Jadoonanan earns a basic salary of $51,500, a transport allowance of $6,5000 and a business expense allowance of $1,500.

The Express was told that despite his transport allowance, he is privy to a company vehicle as well as a driver, which is paid for by PTSC.

The board, chaired by former parliamentarian Vincent Lasse, had an emergency meeting on Monday at 8 a.m. at its Port of Spain South Quay offices to discuss the Jadoonanan matter.

The Express understands Monday’s board meeting was a consequence of another meeting held by former transport minister Chandresh Sharma the week before where the issue was discussed.

On August 29, Sharma’s permanent secretary, Verna Johnson, wrote to PTSC general manager Ronald Fordem on the issue of Jadoonanan’s remuneration from the company.

The letter, of which the Express obtained a copy of questioned the salaries and allowances of PTSC’s deputy general managers — Jadoonanan, David Bartholomew (DGM of Engineering), Brian Juanette (DGM of Operations), Ravi Ratiram (DGM-Properties) and Carl Ramdeo (DGM-Marketing and Communications).

Johnson noted that PTSC’s DGMs received a standardised salary of $28,500 and a travelling allowance of $2000 while Jadoonanan’s salary was double that amount plus he also had a business expense allowance.

“It would be appreciated if an explanation can be provided for the great disparity between salaries and allowances of Ishwar Jadoonanan and the other DGMs. Additionally, I would be glad if you can provide:

(a) the qualifications of all persons holding DGM title;

(b) approved organisational chart for all senior persons in PTSC;

(c) the date this chart was approved of and by whom;

(d) whether the salaries and allowances were approved by the board of the PTSC and the date that such approval took place;

(e) whether the approval of the Minister was obtained in accordance to Section 15 (2) of the PTSC Act and the date of such approval.”

The permanent secretary’s letter was copied to the Chief Personnel Officer, the Auditor General, the Comptroller of Accounts and the PS of the Ministry of Finance and the Economy. (Express)

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