Work permit breaches in 2014 & 2015 reported by Integrity Commission

A report by the Integrity Commission has uncovered rule breaches by the Ministry of Labour & Social Security in the granting of  work permits to foreign construction workers.
The breaches were detected during investigations into the grant of  permits to workers at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Hotel.
The Integrity Commission says the breaches occurred in 2014 and 2015.
The Integrity Commission says, from August 2014 to February 2015, the Minitry processed 155 work permit applications for Mexican nationals to be employed at the hotel.
But it says the application forms submitted for the permits were incomplete and they were not accompanied by required documentation such as the respective work experience details, proof  of  qualification, employer details, resumes and police records.
The Integrity Commission says the Ministry claimed it was unable to provide certain work permit documentation for scrutiny because flooding in the first quarter of  2020 damaged files which were stored in the Work Permit Unit.
The Ministry said the damaged files may have included the work permit applications for the Moon Palace construction and renovation project.
The Commission's Director of  Investigations notes however that the documentation was requested by the then Office of  the Contractor General prior to the 2020 flooding.
He has concluded that the process which led to the issuance of  work permits to the foreign nationals during the period was irregular and lacked transparency. 
The Director of  Investigation also questioned the basis on which then Labour Minister, Derrick Kellier, had satisfied himself regarding the legitimacy of  the applications, given the missing supporting documentation.
He has recommended that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry undertake a review of  internal administrative guidelines which govern the processing of  work permit applications and move to ensure they are followed.
He has also recommended proper storage of  records.

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