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Blatant nepotism and cronyism at Universal Service Fund, PNP says

Monday, July 16, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party (PNP) is crying “blatant nepotism” following admission that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Universal Service Fund (USF), Camille Buchanan, hired her daughter to the agency “without due regard for the standard procedure for employment in the government service.”

The PNP in a press release this afternoon said that the admission came by way of the board of directors of the USF, adding that the daughter of the former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for St Catherine East Central received a salary of $80,000 per month for a position which she did not meet the qualifications.

General Secretary of the PNP Julian Robinson says that the Chairman of the USF Board, Robert Lawrence, should say how many other people have been hired at the agency over the last two years without the positions being advertised as required by the rules of the Services Commission.

Robinson contended that Lawrence admitted that Buchanan's daughter did not meet the qualification for the position. “Mr Lawrence also disclosed that another long-standing employee had her daughter employed to the fund since November 2017,” Robinson added.

The PNP insisted that with clear evidence of corruption, nepotism, cronyism, systematic breaches and procedural lapses in agencies under the former Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, the leadership at the USF must be forthright in answering questions surrounding its operations.

The PNP said the board chairman should also clarify the process used to hire Buchanan in the current position of CEO and whether other individuals were given equal opportunity during the process of filling the position.

“Albeit late, but still for the sake of probity, the chairman should make public how many applications were received and shortlisted before a final decision was made to engage Ms Buchanan as the agency's CEO,” Robinson said.

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