Minister announces committee to hire new Spicemas Corporation CEO. Legislation says differently

Kirk Seetahal, Chief Executive Officer of the Spicemas Corporation

by Linda Straker

  • Committee to hire new SMC CEO in violation of Spicemas Corporation legislation
  • Corporation management is “basically in a transition period”
  • In 6 years of SMC operations, 5 persons have chaired or acted as chairperson

Culture Minister Senator Norland Cox has announced that a committee has been formed to put the necessary framework in place to hire a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Spicemas Corporation (SMC), but this announcement appears to be in violation of the legislation that established the 6-year-old statutory body.

“What we would have done thus far, is that we would have had a subcommittee with persons in the ministry, Dept of Public Administration (DPA) and Spicemas Corporation, review the terms of reference for that position, and it’s our desire, sometime in September to put an announcement out for persons who are interested, to express interest to fill that position going forward,” Cox disclosed during the Tuesday weekly post-Cabinet briefing.

“It is our desire to have that position filled very quickly as there are a number of works to be done in going forward for the Spicemas Corporation,” he said, explaining that the management of the corporation is “basically in a transition period.”

However, Section 14 of the Spicemas Corporation legislation which was approved by both Houses of Parliament in 2011 and came into effect in 2012, provides a different guideline for the hiring of the Chief Executive Officer and other staff members.

The legislation gives the board members full responsibility for hiring not only the CEO but other officers and agents. It states: “The board shall appoint a Chief Executive Officer upon terms and conditions to be approved by the board.” The legislation also states that the CEO shall be responsible for the day to day operations of the corporation.

Kirk Seetahal who was officially the CEO as of September 2015, tendered his resignation in accordance with his contract with 2 months’ notice on 16 May 2018 and will be leaving the post as of 31 August 2018.

In the 6 years of the SMC operations, 5 persons have chaired or acted as chairperson for the body which is tasked with the promotion, marketing, organising and administration of carnival. They are Colin Dowe, Arthur Hosten, Alister Bain, Jocelyn Sylvester–Gairy and the current chair, Genevieve Gibbs.

Seetahal is the second appointed CEO. The first was Jennifer Woodroffe.

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