A scathing report from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) outlines several allegations against Port Director Clement Reid.
These include multiple breaches of hiring practices, granting paid leave for a port employee to travel with an MLA, and a more than $130,000 redecoration of Port Authority offices.
The 52-page special report from the OAG to the PACI board details thirteen breaches or acts of non-compliance relating to human resources, finance, and other port authority decisions.
The bulk of these surround inconsistincies in hiring practices, including not involving the HR manager in recruitment, offering contracts in excess of the advertised salary range, and not giving public notification of vacant positions.
One example: the hiring of an operations and events manager in July 2017 said to be a close friend and former maritime authority colleague of Mr. Reid’s. The OAG said this was in direct contravention of the Public Authorities Law that came into effect that same month.
The report lists other breaches, such as the granting of 63 days of paid leave time to an employee to assist then-Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush on official business, the release of a wrecked vessel to a port employee where the vessel’s ownership was at the center of a dispute, and the so-called ‘theft’ of four boat engines designated for disposal from Harbour House Marina by port staff. The residual value of these engines was placed at $6,000 CI.
Finally, the report alleges Mr. Reid approved more than $130,000 in office upgrades without a business case or approval from the board. These purchases include $30,000 worth of rugs, vases, poufs, lounge chairs and dining tables.
The OAG said its investigation was launched after issues surfaced during its interim financial audit at the port. The report was made public last week after FOI request.
Cayman 27 reached out to Mr. Reid and a Port Authority spokesperson, and were referred instead to Port Board Chairman Errol Bush, who did not respond to our inquiries Wednesday.
In its response to the OAG report, Mr. Bush said the board has tasked Mr. Reid with a number of corrective actions, and will monitor it closely for a 12 month period.