A “typo” is to be blamed for wrong qualifications being presented on two board notes relating to the hiring of Wayne Oudit at the Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA).
This was the reason given by ERHA chairman Stephan Bhagan when asked yesterday who was responsible for presenting board notes with false information stating that Oudit was the holder of a Master of Business Administration.
“That is a typo error or something. I was not on the panel so I do not know. At the interview he (Oudit) told them he started the MSc but never finished it. It does not matter. I myself thought that he had a MBA. He told them (the interview panel) in advance that he did not finish the MSc. What he has is higher than the MSc,” Bhagan said.
The ERHA’s explanation is however not sitting well with Health Minister Fuad Khan, who is demanding answers from the ERHA.
Khan said yesterday, “Anybody could say what they want, but at the end of the day you cannot deny facts. Whether a report is incomplete or not, you cannot deny facts. I am dealing with facts. Quite frankly, I do not know who really holds a degree right now. They have to identify to me who exactly is responsible for misleading the board. My permanent secretary and human resource department are dealing with the matter and we are following proper industrial relations procedures with this particular matter. I am going to determine if what the chairman is claiming is accurate or inaccurate.”
A recruitment audit dated December 19, 2013 conducted by internal auditor John Pouchet, discovered that in 2011 when Oudit was hired as the general manager of finance (GMF) at the ERHA a board note reference number BOD/2011/338 was submitted to the Bhagan-led board for approval stating that he is the holder of an MBA from Henley Management College.
Approval for Oudit’s hiring was granted on November 29, 2011 and the board note was signed off by Bhagan, deputy chairman Sandeep Maharaj and directors Ronald Bobb, Asif Ali, Amuzad Khan, Beulah Duke, Prakash Williams and Hafeez Ali.
Two years later in 2013 another board note, reference number BOD/2013/192, was prepared for Oudit to be given the nod as chief operations officer (COO). Once again the board note stated that Oudit possessed an MBA and was signed off by Bhagan, Maharaj, and directors Ali, Williams and Adesh Rambharack.
Nowhere on Oudit’s curriculum vitae (CV) does he state he had attained the MBA.
His CV lists him as partially completing an MSc in General Management from Henley Management College in the United Kingdom (UK) .
The audit frowned upon Oudit’s MBA qualifications submitted to the board, stating: “On two separate occasions management represented to the board that the COO, formerly the GMF had a MBA, while his CV states that it is partially completed. Management was negligent in their duty to provide the board with reliable and accurate information in order to allow them to make informed decisions.”
And last Friday when the Express enquired whether Oudit had completed his MSc in General Management, Bhagan, in an e-mail response sent on behalf of Oudit, said: “Mr Oudit informed me that he made the decision not to complete the Henley MBA in General Management. I understand that he enrolled for the MBA in General Management in 2004 with the UK’s Henley Business School.”
However, following this week’s exclusive Sunday Express story, the ERHA issued a press release stating that the audit report was incomplete.
The release issued by Bhagan said the ERHA board was satisfied that people named in the article, namely Oudit (COO), Tricia Leela (general manager of human resources), Sushma Brahma Prashad (manager cost and management accounting), and Renrick Spencer (manager purchasing and logistics) were all suitably qualified.
When the Express asked Bhagan yesterday if Spencer was the holder of the MSc degree as claimed on his CV, he replied: “He has a MSc?”
Told that the Express was in possession of Spencer’s CV that lists him as attaining a Master in Business Administration General Management in 2010 to 2011, Bhagan said: “Okay, goodbye”, and hung up the phone.
The audit discovered Spencer’s MSc was not completed and stated: “The candidate’s CV listed a MBA in General Management with all the courses. It was determined, however, that the MBA was not complete. The candidate’s CV was misleading.”
Spencer also refused comment when contacted by the Express last Saturday.
With regard to Leela, who was originally hired on January 3, 2012 as manager of employment and employee service (MEES) and three months later was appointed the GMHR, the audit found the interview process to be irregular.
Leela placed second in the first interview held on November 11, 2012 to her competitor Nadia Ali. Eight points separated Leela and Ali.
However, in the second interview on November 22, Leela topped the interview by 46 points.
The audit said: “The only justification for a second interview in the recruitment of the MEES would be that the first interview was invalid. If such was the case, all of the candidates interviewed and the candidate who could not attend the day of the first interview should have been invited to the second interview. However, only the first two candidates were re-interviewed. This implies that the first interview had merit as it was used to eliminate two candidates. If the first interview was valid enough to screen candidates, the original decision could have been accepted.”
Leela also refused to comment when contacted by the Express last Saturday.
With regard to the hiring of Prashad, the audit found that none of the candidates interviewed met the minimum requirement of full ACCA or CIMA certification.
Prashad, however was hired on the basis that she was scheduled to write her final examination in June 2013.
The audit said no documentary evidence was found in Prashad’s file to prove that she completed the accounting examination.
Prashad also said she had no comment when the Express contacted her last Saturday.