THE Eastern Regional Health Authority has denied that the qualifications of some of its senior appointees are being probed, stating yesterday that a Sunday Express investigation has misrepresented the facts of an audit into the Authority.
In a press release late yesterday, ERHA chairman, Dr Steve Bhagan, said the story headlined “False Papers Probe” by senior investigative reporter Anika Gumbs, which was published yesterday has “no rational connection” to an audit dated December 19, 2013.
The audit does not concern the falsification of qualifications by any employees of the ERHA, Bhagan said.
“The ERHA Board is satisfied that persons mentioned in the article, namely, Wayne Oudit (Chief Operations Officer), Tricia Leela (General Manager—Human Resources), Sushma Brahma Prashad (Manager Cost and Management Accounting) and Rennick Spencer (Manager Purchasing & Logistics), are all suitably qualified for the positions which they now hold and form an integral part of the award winning team of the ERHA,” Bhagan stated.
Bhagan said the audit report quoted in the article is an “incomplete report”.
He stated that upon the presentation of the report by the auditor, the board raised several concerns as to the quality and veracity of the report in light of the limitations, which the auditor mentioned therein as follows:
“There was a time constraint for the completion of the audit. This also meant that where information requested could not be obtained within a specified time frame Internal Audit was forced to conclude that ‘Audit saw no evidence of relevant data, documents or actions’.”
Bhagan said the ERHA Board also recognised that persons against whom allegations were made, were “never approached for an explanation or to obtain their views”.
“In light of the above, the Board agreed to engage an external auditor for transparency purposes,” Bhagan said.
He added: “With respect to falsifying of an MBA qualification by Mr Wayne Oudit, the Board wishes to state that it has absolutely no information or evidence that Mr Oudit has falsified any credentials.
“With respect to the appointment of Mr Oudit as Chief Operations Officer, the said article misrepresents that the audit report stated that Mr Oudit’s appointment was not in keeping with ERHA policies and procedures.
“The Board wishes to state that such a contention is not articulated in the said report. Further, the audit report clearly noted that the criterion for the post of COO states that the successful candidate may have a ‘similar combination of qualifications and experience’.”
The Board notes that Oudit possesses FCCA status with the UK’s Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the final professional level of this qualification is equivalent to a Masters internationally, as verified by the ACCA Caribbean Office, Bhagan said.
He added: “With respect to Mr Oudit signing a contract as CEO while not holding said post, the Board wishes to state that it has received a satisfactory explanation from all parties concerned.”