My opposition to the Proposed Responsibility Allowance for Management


To: Board Members, CH&PA
From: Mark Jacobs
Date: 6th October, 2016.
Subject : My opposition to the Proposed Responsibility Allowance for Management

Dear Members:

In the Interest of time, I did not explain in detail my opposition to this so-called responsibility allowance proposed by the HR DIrector L. Benfield-Sanscoulotte today. However, that should not be misinterpreted.

I am fundamentally opposed to this responsibility allowance on many grounds stated below. For that matter, I find it highly irresponsible and even obscene for the management of CH&PA to even conceive of this idea.

The record will show that management as a whole are underperforming and failing in many of the day to day responsibilities. We struggle to get basic information or proper decisions from management.

CH&PA is not a fully functional organisation, so for me to approve or sanction additional millions in compensation to this team is to say I approve of their current performance. I do not and I oppose this allowance.

I would like this entire memo placed into the minutes/record as my official explanation as to why I oppose this allowance and could not in good conscience vote for it today or any other day. I would also like to request HR DIrector L. Benfield-Sanscoulotte prepare a written response to the questions I am posing here.

With the sparse information presented today, I think this decision is unwise and not in keeping with proper managerial, human resource and maybe even accounting principles.

This is clear cut instant of management proposing additional lifestyle enhancements for themselves to the Board for instant approval. Juxtapose this with the fact that Board Members have yet to be issued with ID cards one year later, a responsibility of the HR Director.

My opposition explained in detail.

I do not recall the board of CH&PA deciding on the members of this management team. If it is that we did, I would like to see the documentation.
From the inception of this management committee at no point was it inferred nor was I under any impression that these persons replaced or were acting in the capacity of the CEO. Quite the contrary, they were to meet and coordinate their activities in the absence of a CEO. And the record will show NO ONE from this current team wanted to act as CEO under any circumstances and they all said so at various forums.
I would argue that there is no qualitative increase in the workload of any of these management committee members. I would even go further to argue that except for the secretary of the Board [minute taking], they are working less since once a week they sit and meet all day.
Any documentation of their work activities they can provide to show otherwise would be most welcomed.
What additional services is the Head of IT offering CH&PA for example when we can’t get simple answers or problems solved by the IT department?
I would like to request here the minutes of each management committee meeting held and be updated on future meetings.
There are 12 names on this list, but at the last statutory meeting, when it was mentioned again without any documentation being circulated, I asked how many persons were on this proposed list and the response from the HR Director was 13. What caused one person to be dropped from the list and who is that person?
No memo was circulated to Board Members in advance or on the spot explaining this responsibility allowance. What we got was the HR director dictating to us from a piece of paper her recommendations. We have rejected this approach to things numerous times in the past and have said we will not deliberate on matters presented to us in such manner. The approach persists.
This allowance idea did not originate from the Board. Are we allowing management to set and dictate policy to us? At a minimum I would’ve like to see in advance a detailed explanation as to how it was arrived at. Whose idea was this? What do the numbers proposed represent? How were they arrived at?
The responsibility allowance of $57,000 is listed as 9.3% of the CEO salary of $608,121. Who arrived at this number and on what basis was I as a board member being asked to approve it? Why 9.3%? What’s the significance?
There is also an additional $40,000 or 6.5% of $608,121. Again I would like to ask the HR Director to explain in writing on what basis was this number arrived at and on what basis was I as a board member being asked to approve it?
The note below the allowance says: the management team propose that each head of department and deputy mentioned. What organisational chart is being used to determine these heads of department? Based on the numbers some deputies were left off this list. Why?
And directly linked to the previous, in what system of management does a department head and his/her deputy act in the capacity of the CEO and both receive compensation for acting? Here I would refer back to my second objection.
The Director of Finance Denise King-Tudor, Director of Planning Fayola Azore and now Director of Projects Omar Narine are all receiving allowances for acting in those capacities. On what grounds do we now justify them now receiving an additional allowance to act as CEO? What system of management or HR management is being used to justify paying someone allowances to act in two capacities?
Why weren’t we presented a detailed breakdown of salaries, allowances and perks all members of management currently are in receipt of to bring this responsibility allowance into better focus? I would like to see this breakdown.
The Director of Operations wrote a letter to the Board, a copy of which I’ve yet to receive, refusing to act as CEO. Strangely enough she is also listed as a recipient of this award.
To compound matters, a memo dated July 8, 2016, REF NO: T-2 says the following: Please be advised that approval has been granted for you to act at the level of Chief Executive Officer due to the resignation of…..This will be effective from July 14, 2016 until a suitable, qualified candidate is identified to fill the vacant position…You will be paid an acting allowance of $137,813 [see Pay Chance for the Month of July 2016 records of the FInance Department]
This memo is signed by the HR director and addressed to the Director of Operations. I do not recall the Board granting any such approval. Again, if documented evidence prove me wrong I will stand corrected.
More questions to be answered here are, how does the Director of Operations get an allowance for acting as CEO from July 14, 2015 to the tune of $137,813 and a responsibility allowance for acting as CEO from July 15, 2016 to the tune of $114,000.

I am pointing these things out with all due respect to members and management, not to pick on any one individual but to highlight anomalies in the information presented. In doing so I hope to see corrections in how the business of this organisation is conducted.

I have another memo to present to the Board on the time machine and related deficiencies in the time management system and compensation of CH&PA employees. These deficiencies follows a trend of payroll/timesheet fraud using falsified information, failure to clock in, failure to clock out, overtime listed on paper with a working time machine et cetera. Whether deliberate or accidental, I would leave that to the internal auditor and others to make that determination.

None of this is meant to impugn the integrity of anyone in management or the board. We’re all here for the greater good of the nation and I would’ve failed in my responsibilities if i did not highlight and explain my objections and observations.

With the sparse information presented to us, and my previous misgivings, I find this allowance to be highly irresponsible.

Humble regards,
Mark Jacobs


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