Key Finance Posts Vacated

Gareth Spencer has taken an unplanned holiday from his duties as Head of Procurement while Chief Economist Owen James has left his post at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MOFEM).

6-6-16-MOFEM-OwenJamesSpencer had been under pressure to clear up the backlog of procurement decisions which have increased in the past two years, as new rules were implemented. About 35 to 50 decisions are said to be stalled in the procurement office, due in part to his lack of experience in the area of construction and infrastructure.

The UK national was said to have been unable to fulfill the duties and there had been ongoing wranglings from several government ministries to put other capable officers within the department to speed up the process.

Spencer has reportedly taken an unplanned one-month vacation.

Chief Economist Owen James said in an email to colleagues that he’d notified the Human Resources Management Unit (HRMU) of his intention to resign but to date they have “not entered into any meaningful dialogue” regarding this. He chided the department as “totally useless.”

James left island on Friday, noting it was a last minute decision once he realised the department were not planning to resolve the issues.

His communication did not state what matters prompted his plan to resign.

Also leaving unexpectedly is Policy Adviser Astley Henry. Henry had also been waiting on a decision from HRMU about an extension to his contract which ended in March but with no response, left the post to pursue other offers abroad.

HRMU has had challenges over the years with timely decision making. This has often left contracted workers to accept other jobs abroad in the off chance that a negative decision was forthcoming. This has hampered the teaching pool at the secondary school in recent years.