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Nine TTPost bosses quit

Published: 
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Ansuya Babwah

There have been nine significant resignations at TT Post over the past few months, with the latest three happening last week. The resignations from the state-owned postal service have left the organisation with no senior managers. 

There are claims that people resigned because they objected to the composition of the TT Post’s Board, including its chairman Dr Franklin Ali. There were questions raised back in 2006 over an alleged conflict of interest concerning Ali and a company called Justal Limited, in which he and two of his relatives were registered directors. They were: Camille Ramlogan and Justin Ali. The company was registered in January 2006. Its registered address included: 14A South Frontage Road, Union Hall, San Fernando. 

In 2006, Ali was the senior manager of operations at TT Post. He, however, resigned his position in 2007. Ali was employed at the company for just over eight years, from 1999 to 2007. He was then appointed chairman in September 2013. Speaking with the T&T Guardian on Monday, Minister of Public Utilities Nizam Baksh confirmed that some TTPost staff had resigned because they were not pleased with the board.

“I am aware that the former managing director did not like the composition of the board and that is why he resigned. He is free to resign and so too are others. They have the option to do so. “So some left at their own free will, some had issues about Dr Ali and resigned and some, there are areas of concerns and matters are being investigated. I don’t have the full details,” Baksh said. 

TTPost’s acting general manager of sales and marketing, Ryan Daniel, when contacted, said: “We are not aware of any resignations as a result of Dr Ali’s appointment.” 

In a letter dated August 29, 2007, addressed to Margaret Rose, director of TTPost, Edward Ince, chairman of TT Mailing Systems Ltd (TTMSL), raised concerns about Ali. T&T Guardian has in its possession a copy of that letter. TTMSL is a subsidiary of the state-owned postal service.

The letter stemmed from complaints from two of TTMSL’s clients, who alleged Justal Ltd had been soliciting existing and potential clients of TTMSL. The letter read: “Mr Ali has attended sales, planning and operational meetings with TTMS and prospective and existing clients on behalf of TTPost, which puts him in a very privileged and unrestricted position from a client and business standpoint.”

It added: “We are very concerned that he has utilised this position and information to gain knowledge about the business and our clients and promote his company Justal Ltd in competition to TTMSL.” Ince asked Rose to address the matter with urgency, “as it could have a significant impact on TTMSL’s business.”

Contacted via Facebook chat, Rose, who is currently out the country, said she could confirm from documentary records still in her possession that there was an issue at that time. She said there was a meeting to discuss the issue, but said she could not recall the specific events.

Ali: no conflict of interest
Ali came to the Guardian to categorically deny a Sunday Newsday report which claimed there was a conflict of interest, saying his contract at the time with TTPost did not have any conflict-of-interest clause. As for his own company, he said he had prepared a dossier which contained several documents on Justal Ltd and his involvement, which he presented to the minister when he was offered the position of chairman.

“All the pertinent documents were given to the Minister Baksh just before I took the instrument of appointment. The minister expressed no concerns or reservations.” He said he gave notice of his resignation some time in September 2007 and left TTPost in October that year. Baksh, asked about this on Monday, confirmed Ali’s statements. “Dr Ali did bring it to my attention. 

When he was offered chairman of the board he did bring supporting documents which showed me that he resigned as director of the company, so there was no conflict of interest. “The documents also showed that the company only functioned when he left in 2007,” Baksh said. Asked if he was related to the other two directors of Justal, Ramlogan and Justin, Ali confirmed they were related. “The company started trading two months after I left the corporation,” he said. 

“Any check of the company’s bank records will reveal the information. The company stopped trading actively sometime in 2009. Bank records again will reveal that and on December 22, 2010 I was removed as a director from the company.” On Justal’s current status, Ali said, “It has been taken over. I gave up all interest to the company in 2010. I don’t know what’s the status with it at this point, whether it is trading, existing. I have no information.”

Asked why he had resigned from TTPost, Ali said: “I felt after eight years, almost nine years, I could not grow any further. I decided it was time to move on and try new things and I moved on. “There were no discipline issues. I was not asked to leave. No disciplinary matters, no objections from other employees. “I was even asked to hold on by the then managing director and I said I had already given notice and it was time to go home.”

Ex-employees mum
Contacted for comment by the T&T Guardian, Babwah was asked if she was suspended by TT Post and why. She replied: “Yes but I have now resigned.” When asked about Ali and Justal Ltd, Babwah said: “It is a good story.” She, however, refused to comment further. 
Cyrus, also contacted, said he chose not to comment.

Those who resigned from TTPost
Managing director Sheldon Cyrus
Corporate secretary Rhonda Earle
General manager of human resources Henry Francis
Manager of operations Robert Hernandez (who replaced Ali on Ali’s resignation in 2007)
Industrial relations officer Anthony Wells
Internal audit manager Suzanne Daniels. 
Last week’s resignations:
Finance manager Ansuya Babwah
Marketing manager Andre James
Procurement manager Ann Marie De Freitas