Government’s payout to former Department of Environmental Health director Roydell Carter remains under wraps.
Ombudsman Sandy Hermiston blocked the release of the amount Mr. Carter received saying a confidential clause in the agreement prevents her from making the payout public.
She made the statement Friday (7 June) in her decision on an application seeking to have Mr. Carter’s payout package released.
The application filed against the Ministry of Environment and Health said releasing the information was in the public interest since it was public funds that were expended in Mr. Carter’s departure.
While the Ombudsman agreed, she said, there was a clause in place and she could not breach it.
Mr. Carter took early retirement last year after months of leave. It followed the start of an internal audit into excessive overtime at DEH.
Ms. Hermiston issued a word of caution to government entities.
“Public authorities should carefully consider whether confidentiality is necessary and appropriate before agreeing to sign an agreement containing a confidentiality clause, and should not use such clauses unless absolutely necessary, such as may be the case in the course of litigation,” she said in a media statement on her decision.
Read Ms. Hermiston’s statement and report below.