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Portia puts port record straight
Comments attributed to the new chairman of the Port Authority, Joseph Toney, which included criticism of Portia Management Services Ltd, merit a response to put the record straight. Portia was appointed in 2006 on a three-year contract to address some of the inefficiencies prevalent at the port and to introduce modern working practices into port operations. This we endeavoured to do despite resistance from the trade union and some of the Port Authority “old guard.”
I believe we achieved some considerable success in transforming the port’s reputation and we managed to attract considerable volumes of additional cargoes which demonstrated the shipping lines renewed confidence in the port. In 2009, our contract was renewed for a further two years, which confirmed that the Government and board were very satisfied with our performance.
With regard to the losses incurred by the Port Authority, the port was already heavily loss-making in 2006, the main reason being the high cost of labour. Portia recommended the introduction of new streamlined flexible working arrangements which would have allowed the Government to implement its planned voluntary severance scheme, and which would have allowed the port’s finances to be brought under control.
Unfortunately, this did not take place and Portia’s efforts were therefore undermined by this lack of action. We wish Toney every success in his efforts to turn around the port, but he should start from a point of honestly recognising the true position and not try to blame a reputable international company without checking his facts.
Portia Management Services Ltd
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