Questions are being raised over the appointment of the Occupational Safety and Health Authority’s (OSHA) new executive director.
Staff members have questioned if executive director Alexis Boisson possesses the relevant qualifications for the job.
The decision to appoint Boisson to the $40,400-a-month position was taken at a board meeting on November 15, 2012.
Allowances, inclusive of housing, telephone and transportation, have pushed his $25,700 basic salary to the $40,400 sum.
In addition to his salary, Boisson is also entitled to a maximum loan of $200,000 to purchase a vehicle at a rate of six per cent per annum to be repaid over a six-year period.
The Sunday Express obtained the ministerial minutes showing Boisson’s remuneration was
ratified on December 26 last year by line minister Errol McLeod, under whose purview the agency falls.
His contract is for a period of three years.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour Carl Francis has said he had no role in the appoint-ment, insisting it came under the OSHA board.
“The arrangement for the hiring at OSHA is done by the board. We do not get involved at the ministry relating to matters taken by the board.
The board took a
decision to treat with
that hiring a certain way and they have to take responsibility for it. We do not get involved in telling them what to do.
The only involvement we make relating to the OSHA staff hiring is remuneration that is above a certain amount that requires the minister to sign off on it. That is as much as we do;
other than that, we do not get involved in determining how they hire,” Francis told the Sunday Express in a recent interview.
Asked specifically if Boisson
was qualified for the job, Francis said: “We do not get involved. We leave it up to them. While we supervise
OSHA, and they report to us because of what they do, we maintain an arm’s-length arrangement.
I am involved to a large extent because I am like the authorisation officer to verify certain payments. Beyond that, I do not get involved in the hiring part of it.”
The 91st report of the Salaries Review Commission (SRC) outlines specific guidelines for the hiring of the executive director.
The incumbent, the SRC states, is required to be in possession of a postgraduate degree, preferably in occupational safety and health management engineering, natural sciences or a related discipline.
The successful candidate is also required to possess knowledge and
experience in OSH quality management standards and certification, along with 15 years in the field of OSH,
preferably in labour inspection, and at least seven years experience at the level of director or a compa-
rable position in a similar organisation.
Boisson’s online profile lists
him as possessing a doctorate in business administration, Master of Arts in management practice and an MPhil in management.
He is also listed as owning a consultancy firm and is a former director at the National Library and Information System Authority (Nalis).
Boisson has not answered calls to get a response on his qualifications.
In response to a list of e-mailed questions enquiring about his hiring, and if he possessed the relevant qualifications or experience, Boisson responded late last month, stating: “That being the case, I think you should be posing the question to my employers who I am sure would be in a position to respond.”
However, telephone calls and voice messages to OSHA chairman Sydney Sears have gone unanswered.
Staff have complained Boisson has a “high-handed approach” and procedures have been violated on his watch.
Among the issues raised was the authorisation of vacation leave for chief inspector Gaekward Ramoutar.
The Public Service Regulation Chap 136: 2 states an officer, when leaving the country, shall inform the permanent secretary or head of department in writing, or in cases of emergency, a superior officer shall inform the relevant heads.
The OSHA Act states the Authority is required to keep the minister informed of what it proposes to do, relating to the operations and management at the agency.
“The vacation leave of the chief inspector was approved for the period August 26 to September 6. This matter was not brought to the attention of the OSH authority or the minister. A verbal arrangement was made for an acting chief inspector. This is a State enterprise that is governed by rules, but time and time again, we are seeing rules and regulations being broken,” a senior employee disclosed.
It is not the first time the OSHA
agency has found itself in a contentious situation regarding the appointment of a senior official.
Last year, the Ministry of Labour took a decision not to renew the $65,000 a month contract of OSHA administration consultant Prof Anthony Joseph when it ended on October 15.
Joseph was hired as a consultant, but official correspondence described him as the chief executive director of the agency.
The latter position does not exist on the approved organisational chart of OSHA.
Joseph’s annual earnings amounted to $780,000.