Mr. Speaker, I feel that it is most appropriate that I provide to this Honourable House, to the general public, and particularly to depositors in the Bernard Lodge Scheme, an update on the status of affairs of the Housing Agency of Jamaica. Most specifically, it is important that I address the recent developments that resulted in the resignation, en bloc of the Board of Directors of that institution.
Many of the negative comments which have been circulated publicly represent a combination of speculation, half-truths and innuendos. Therefore,I take this opportunity to set the record straight and to reassure this Honourable House and members of the public that, notwithstanding the challenges being experienced, the Housing Agency of Jamaica will discharge fully, its responsibilities to its clients and to the country.
Mr Speaker, there is no denying that on the face of it, there was justification for concern about the high attrition among employees at the Agency. However, when the figures are disaggregated, they present a somewhat different picture from the initial impression.
Between April and December 2013, forty-four (44) employees separated from the Agency. It should be noted, Mr. Speaker, that the Agency undertook a restructuring exercise which resulted in the elimination of some positions from the organisational structure. Staff members and their unions were apprised of the decision and its implications. Persons were asked to indicate whether they would opt for voluntary redundancy. As a result, eighteen (18) persons opted to leave through that mechanism; ten (10) persons resigned; and ten (10) contracts ended. Some persons opted not to renew their contracts given the uncertainty resulting from the restructuring exercise while the contracts of five (5) former employees were terminated.
Perhaps the development which has caused the greatest concern, Mr Speaker, was that over the last eight months, three Managing Directors separated from the Agency…READ MORE