The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is pledging to leave no stone unturned in an investigation into 89 recent appointments at the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
While welcoming the appointments, Shadow Minister of Housing Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic told Barbados TODAY Monday afternoon the BLP was seeking to ensure that no protocols were breached and there were no cases of supersession.
While the Member of Parliament for The City did not make specific reference to concerns raised by Auditor General Leigh Trotman about the level spending and staff levels at the NHC, Bostic promised to publicize any discrepancies unearthed during his probe.
“I am not going to speak on this matter just yet because all of the facts are just coming in. I am aware of the  appointments and my first job is ensuring that proper protocol was followed,” he told Barbados TODAY.
News of the appointments has come amid ongoing concerns about the level of spending at the statutory corporation.
Just recently, three Government ministers – Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, Minister of Housing Denis Kellman, and former Minister of Housing Michael Lashley – were summoned to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to answers questions on spending for public housing, based on matters raised by the Auditor General.
At issue was the employment of 47 people over and above the approved staff complement for the statutory agency; the auditing of accounts and the laying of those accounts before Parliament and the awarding of contracts for the Exmouth, Coverley, Grotto, Bushy Park and Country Park Towers housing projects.
The three ministers have refused to appear before the Mia Mottley-led PAC, with their lawyers contending that “the summons to our clients by its very nature was illegal, since it was purporting to use the stated jurisdiction of examining to effectively hold an enquiry”.
However, news of the 89 appointments has been well received by President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall.
In a brief letter to the NUPW dated December 8, 2016, NHC General Manager Lanette Napoleon-Young officially informed the union of the appointments.
McDowall told Barbados TODAY the appointments were an important “first step in the right direction” at the NHC, which was hit by protest action earlier this year following the appointment of a human resource manager.
The NUPW head also congratulated the state corporation for engaging the union and for seeing the process through.
He added that the decision ensured a climate of good industrial relations and set the stage for mature ongoing negotiations between the two sides.