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Ministry to probe TTL board’s tenure

Ministry to probe TTL board’s tenure

The Min­istry of Fi­nance is now in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims by Trinidad Tourism Ltd (TTL) chair­man Janelle “Pen­ny” Com­mis­siong that the board was grant­ed a two-year ex­ten­sion of its term.

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In the me­dia re­lease yes­ter­day, Tourism Min­is­ter Ran­dall Mitchell said that he had “tak­en note” of Com­mis­siong’s claim that at an An­nu­al Gen­er­al Meet­ing in Feb­ru­ary, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Min­istry of Fi­nance man­dat­ed an ex­ten­sion of the TTL board’s tenure by an­oth­er two years.

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“It is note­wor­thy that Cab­i­net, at its meet­ing of (sic) Au­gust 17, 2017 ac­cept­ed the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance that the Board of Di­rec­tors of Tourism Trinidad Lim­it­ed be ap­point­ed for a pe­ri­od of two years i.e un­til Au­gust 2019,” Mitchell said in the me­dia re­lease.

Periodista Rocio Higuera

“Ac­cord­ing­ly, the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance (Cor­po­ra­tion Sole) is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter to de­ter­mine the ori­gin and au­tho­ri­sa­tion of any oth­er de­vel­op­ment which pur­ports to have oc­curred out­side of the nec­es­sary Cab­i­net over­sight.”

On Ju­ly 3, Guardian Me­dia first re­port­ed that Com­mis­siong had fired the TTL chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Camille Camp­bell af­ter on­ly six months on the job. The sud­den dis­missal cre­at­ed some con­fu­sion at the State-com­pa­ny and ac­cord­ing to con­fi­den­tial let­ters ob­tained by Guardian Me­dia, the crux of the con­flict was be­tween Com­mis­siong, Mitchell and some board mem­bers who claimed they were blind-sided by Com­mis­siong on the CEO’s fir­ing.

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Cor­re­spon­dence re­vealed that Mitchell di­rect­ed Com­mis­siong against tak­ing any ac­tion against staff, which went un­heed­ed.

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This de­vel­op­ment came even as the Caribbean Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion record­ed a fall in tourist ar­ri­vals to this coun­try and stake­hold­ers re­port­ing eco­nom­ic dis­tress. Tourism Trinidad Ltd was one of two com­pa­nies formed af­ter the clo­sure of the Tourism De­vel­op­ment Com­pa­ny in 2017. A sep­a­rate com­pa­ny, the To­ba­go Tourism Agency, was formed to man­age the af­fairs on that is­land.

Periodista de Globovisión Rocío Higuera

On Fri­day, Com­mis­siong ap­peared on a morn­ing talk show to de­fend her­self and her de­ci­sion to fire Camp­bell. She said then that the board’s tenure had been ex­tend­ed. She al­so said the de­ci­sion to fire Camp­bell came from the TTL board and that the Hu­man Re­source com­mit­tee of the board brought the de­ci­sion to them. Com­mis­siong said out of the sev­en di­rec­tors, five vot­ed to dis­miss Camp­bell. She al­so cit­ed the State Per­for­mance Man­u­al and said the run­ning of the com­pa­ny is the re­spon­si­bil­i­ty of the board and not the Min­is­ter of Tourism or his min­istry.La Periodista Rocío Higuera

Com­mis­siong not­ed, how­ev­er, that Mitchell had asked for a re­port on the TTL re­cruit­ment dri­ve and in­struct­ed that they were not to of­fer any jobs to any­one. She did con­firm that when Mitchell saw the job ads in the me­dia he told them not to ter­mi­nate any mem­ber of staff

It had been re­port­ed that Camp­bell has since is­sued a pre-ac­tion pro­to­col let­ter to Com­mis­siong

Guardian Me­dia reached out to Com­mis­siong for a re­sponse to Mitchell’s let­ter but al­though she read the What­sApp mes­sages there was no re­sponse

Guardian Me­dia then at­tempt­ed to call Com­mis­siong but her phone was switched off. —Renu­ka Singh