The trinidad Guardian / Just a week after five senior Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago employees were dismissed, two directors have also been sent home. They were also told to return company phones, computers and all documents and confidential information which they may have had access to as directors of SporTT.
Richard McFarlane, who raised several issues in a letter to SporTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine and board members on October 30, and fellow director Imran Jan were sent letters revoking their appointments yesterday. The letters were signed by Finance Minister Colm Imbert, who had written to Ramnarine the day before indicating Government had agreed to remove Jan and McFarlane from the board.
Both men were advised of the decision via an email from the ministry which gave no reason for the revocation.They have been replaced by Jeffrey Guillen and Hayden Manzano, a senior economist at the Ministry of Finance.
But Jan yesterday said both he and McFarlane “stood up and were clearly targeted.” He said he believed the move was linked to the unfolding events over the past months when eight administrative staff were sent home and five were dismissed last week, while three others were told their contracts would be allowed to run out but they were not to return to the compound .
Jan said, “Over the past couple of months we both raised various issues and concerns as to how the company was being run. I guess we should not have.”
He said when he was asked to serve on the board of SporTT “I was extremely excited about the possible prospects of making an impact, but it never happened.”
“The people that wanted us directors and other members of staff out clearly know why. It shall all soon be revealed.”
McFarlane also believed his revocation was linked to recent events “and in particular the letter I wrote,” in which he raised a number of issues, including the decision to conduct an audit without input from the board and the selection of employees who were sent on administrative leave.
Asked if he ever got a response to the concerns raised in his letter, he said, “Yesterday, the chairman notified myself and the rest of the board via email that he has scheduled a meeting for next Friday (November 17th), at which all the issues raised would be fully addressed.”
McFarlane said he did not even realise his appointment was revoked until he got a call from Jan indicating an email had been sent to them. He said his two-year appointment as a board member was due to end on November 28.
Asked how he felt, he said, “As a sportsperson myself it is very unsettling. The recent history has compromised the delivery of service to the country and the sports men and sports women of this country.”
The T&T Guardian understands staff was told of the decision since last Friday, but were instructed not to discuss or disclose any company information on the matter.
Ramnarine subsequently issued letters to both men advising that although they had been terminated, they still had “obligations” to the board, which include the obligation of confidentiality. He also advised them to return all confidential information, mobiles phones and computers assigned and cautioned them against “tampering, or erasing, or removal of any data from the company telephone or computer that was provided to you.”
Staff was also told yesterday that Kairon Serrette, who had been acting as Facilities Manager would revert to his position as Senior Manager Business Development and that Arvin Ragoonath had been assigned to head the Facilities Management.
Contacted for comment on the latest development dismissed employees told the T&T Guardian they were not “surprised because things have not been right at SporTT for some time now. They said they were still seeking legal advice on their dismissals.