The deputy general manager at the Public Transportation Service Corporation (PTSC) 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 (PTSC) as its human resources manager from 2010.
The issue of is at the core of 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 (DGMs)— 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.
The Express was told Forde and Lasse put the blame on Jadoonanan’s contract on former transport minister and now Food Production Minister, Devant Maharaj, who they say issued a directive on the matter.
Contacted yesterday, Maharaj said he “was not aware” of calling anyone to execute the contract.
The board, the Express was told, was unaware of the details and was never approached to approve Jadoonanan’s contract.
Sources at the company put the responsibility for such a contract on Forde, who is also chairman of Namdevco and whose line minister is Maharaj.
The Express obtained a copy of the contract, which was signed by Forde, Jadoonanan and a legal officer, Annesa Abdool.
Jadoonanan’s term of engagement, according to the contract, is dated December 1, 2011 to November, 30, 2014 and the contract was signed on January 29, 2013.
He is entitled to 35 days vacation, a 20 per cent gratuity of earnings after his three-year contract or any part completed as well other benefits deemed appropriate by the Corporation.
The Express tried several times to contact Jadoonanan on his cellphone yesterday but was unable to do so.
Contacted to comment on the contract and his signature on it, Forde said that he did not have the details at hand and did not want to comment to the media.
However, he did admit to being aware of the emergency board meeting to discuss the issue. He said he met Jadoonanan working at PTSC. When asked by the Express when he (Forde) started working at PTSC, he said he could not recall the date and wanted to be accurate about it when talking to the media.