Members of the Public Services Association (PSA) are outraged by the appointment of a private consultant to head the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).
Workers staged a protest outside the NLCB office in Port of Spain yesterday.
Acting PSA deputy general secretary Kellon Wallace told the media yesterday afternoon that since the NLCB’s acting deputy director went on pre-retirement leave on August 8, a “private citizen” and consultant providing Financial Services was appointed by the NLCB Board of Directors to run the organization, instead of a civil servant.
“In the absence of a Statutory Authorities Service Commission (SAC), the NLCB Board would have written to the Ministry of Finance to appoint a private citizen to head the NLCB in Trinidad and Tobago, which is a public service post.
“This consultant who invoices NLCB, who will sign her invoice, herself? That’s the kind of stuff we have in Trinidad and Tobago,” Wallace lamented.
He said the PSA had written to the Department of Finance and the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) for answers on how it had been authorised.
“Employees are fed up. This is the first time in history that NLCB workers have protested because they say ‘enough’ because many of them have been on contract for 20 years, some haven’t even received new contracts since 2016 and the gratification is exceptional. It’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back because this private citizen cannot give orders to officials,” he argued.
Wallace noted that there are five other officials who qualify to head the NLCB, so he wondered if this was an attempt to privatize the organization, which rakes in millions dollars of revenue per day.
“What we have here is a private citizen who looked after the financial part of the NLCB, the cook and the bottle washer in the same job as we are talking about the finances as well as the chief accountant of the NLCB by being one. person, and who is a private person appointed by the council.
“She can be politically influenced; we are talking about millions of dollars that pass through NLCB daily,” he pointed out.
Wallace added that the PSA will not rest on this serious issue and said NLCB officials will only take instructions from the “legitimate person”.
Sources within management also told the Express that they were unhappy with the appointment and that NLCB chairman Eustace Nancis had to respond.
Contacted last night, Nancis said the person had not been named and was merely performing the duties of manager at the time.
He said the protest was a warm-up exercise for the protest the various unions are organizing this morning against the government’s rejection of the four percent.