In-camera meeting to discuss package paid to Petrojam HR manager

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The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament suspended its meeting to hold an in-camera session with Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Sancia Bennett Templer in regards to the compensation package, which it has been speculated that the Government paid to former Human Resource Manager for Petrojam, Yolande Ramharrack.

Bennett Templer came under fire during the sitting from State Minister in the OPM Everald Warmington, after she told the committee that she could not disclose whether Ramharrack had received a compensation package

The permanent secretary said she had been advised by the Attorney General's chambers that there could be legal ramifications to disclosing the information openly

But Warmington accused Bennett Templer of being disrespectful to the committee, charging that she had been incorrectly advised. He insisted that there should be no in camera meeting, as the Government has nothing to hide in the Petrojam matter.

Committee chairman Mark Golding argued that the committee had a right to the information and that no confidentiality clause could trump the authority of the committee and the right to answers for the benefit of the public.

Warmington and Opposition Member of Parliament Mikael Phillips both shunned the in camera meeting and remained in the chamber as other members, led by the chairman, eventually agreed to meet with the permanent secretary privately.