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Dec 14, 2009

Commissioner drills Perrera on questionable transactions

Perrera, who took over as Director of Finance in the early part of June of 2008, contradicted statements made last week by the hospital’s former Supplies Manager, Carlton Usher. Usher had claimed that Perrera, signed off on requests for duty exemption for items that were available at Central Medical Stores. Usher was fired after equipment allegedly went missing at the hospital. And today’s testimony Perrera gave reasons for Usher’s firing.

Carlos Perrera, Director of Finance, K.H.M.H.
“Mr. Usher was terminated on the fact that he purchased basic medical supplies such as gloves and syringes without approval in regards to the same company noted ND Pharmaceuticals and the exemption was signed after he was terminated almost nine months later and I will explain. It was contrary to what Mr. Usher stated and was totally erroneous. My office was prompted that items were being hoarded and they were not hoarded in the storeroom but in a separate area where we housed maintenance supplies. On my we approach to Mr. Usher, he could not give me a clear understanding on the reason as to why this transpired. On my approach to Mr. Usher, I informed Mr. Usher that this had been a consistent complaint where he hoarded and stocked items above the quantity order and the staff, his whole staff had become very uncomfortable of his practice knowing that it would be at one point, it would come to light due to new processes and procedures being established. It seems that what Mr. Usher was doing was that he would accept large quantities of goods from a company and the company would stock the goods at K.H.M.H., more than what was initially ordered. The conclusion that I got was that the company was ordering in bulk for savings on their part then an invoice would be generated from the company to Mr. Usher, who would then draw down on the item stocked at the K.H.M.H. that he would forward to us for payment. This is not how K.H.M.H. does business and Mr. Usher had no authority to make such arrangements with any company.”

Perrera also countered the statements made before the commission at the beginning of the inquiry by the head of the Radiology Unit and co-owner of Pharmacol Limited, Freddy Mansu. Mansu testified that the removal of the register at the Radiology Department helped to create loopholes in the system. When he was questioned, Perrera was caught in a misinterpretation of words and came under even more fire when Chief Commissioner Justice Adolph Lucas drilled him on why the hospital did not recover more than twenty-five thousand dollars allegedly misappropriated by former employee, Tifara Anderson.

Justice Adolph Lucas
“Why would you say so if all was right at the time?”

Carlos Perrera
“I would have said that just for us to be able to confirm if the documents were not there in Karl Heusner. But it did not mean that I said so because I was sure that the documents were not there. I wanted to confirm the request from the Auditor General as I had an initial conversation with the auditor that they had brought this to my attention. And I said, as I have repeated to the commission, that there is no way that there would be an overpayment in regards to any payment because an invoice has to be attached for any payment to leave through the accounting system that we have set in place. We would do an investigation to substantiate it and that is what we did…”

Justice Adolph Lucas
“You’re saying that now.”

Carlos Perrera
“That is what we did commissioner.”

Justice Adolph Lucas
“No you’re saying that now as opposed to the records that you sent to us.”

Carlos Perrera
“I Probably didn’t use the word substantiate, but I used the word investigate; an investigation.”

Justice Adolph Lucas
“Investigate means that you’re investigating. A crime was being committed, police investigating. When police get the evidence they arrest. ”

Carlos Perrera
“I apologize for using the wrong word Commissioner. I happen to come up with the file of Ms Tifara Anderson. I was informed that there was a letter of confirmation that she would have signed taking on responsibility of this issue. I asked the respective questions to the different parties but none of those parties are no longer at the K.H.M.H. I then asked the most recent person to give me an update on the case, which would have been the accountant, Ms. Shevan Fairweather. They located some files for me. In that regard, when I looked at the file, the file was very skimpy if you want to call it that.”

Justice Adolph Lucas
“I’ve seen the minutes of the meeting. I’m just asking if she has a huge balance, why didn’t you take her to face charges?”

Carlos Perrera
“That did happen afterwards commissioner. That’s what I was going to get at.”

Justice Adolph Lucas
“Well reach there.”

Carlos Perrera
“We did that commissioner. The credit masters brought that to my attention that the said person had not been making the required payments. Before that, we couldn’t…”

Justice Adolph Lucas
“After that now; after the credit master brought it to your attention. And stay on signal you don’t have to bob and weave on me.”

Carlos Perrera
“In that promissory note it stated that if she did not pay, then we would take criminal action. Tifara didn’t make a couple payments and when she had stopped, I then wrote our lawyer.”

At the end of the session, Perrera also provided what he referred to as proof against former C.E.O., Dr Alvaro Rosado. Last week, Rosado could not recall doing business with K.H.M.H. employee, Freddy Mansu, nor his company, Pharmacol Limited. The commission continues on Tuesday with testimonies from Doctors Ricardo Fabro, John Sosa and Jose Guerra.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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