Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 17th 2015 Contents Energy Minister Nicole
Olivierre is yet to officially
communicate to the Equal
(EOC) on whether she will take her December
13, 2012 racial discrimination complaint against
state-owned National Gas Company (NGC) for hearing at the
Equal Opportunity tribunal. This was confirmed to Business
Guardian on Tuesday morning by the commission.
The EOC official, who did not want to be identified, said
before the September 7 general election, Olivierre had verbally
indicated to the EOC that she wanted the matter to be taken
to the tribunal. Now that the general election has been com-
pleted---and Olivierre is the new Energy Minister---there has
been no communication with the EOC about whether or not
she intends to take the matter to a tribunal.
Asked what was the possible reason for her non-commu-
nication, the EOC official said it was probably that the due
to her role in the election but said they would continue to
In her new role as Energy Minister, state-owned enterprises
in the energy---including NGC---would be under her watch.
Olivierre alleged in her complaint that she was denied oppor-
tunities for training and promotion while holding the position
of assistant manager, enterprise risk management at NGC.
The company, in its response to questions posed by Business
Guardian in June, denied that it never practised or will ever
practise any form of discrimination.
But Olivierre told the EOC that NGC unlawfully discriminated
against her "in a manner that it refused her access to oppor-
tunities for promotion, transfer or training or any other benefit,
facility or service associated with her employment contrary
to the act due to her status of race."
According to the complaint, Olivierre was one of four man-
agers in the office of strategy management; the department
which maintains NGC s balance score cards (BSC). And, in
accordance with OSM s training, policy and risk mitigation
plan, it was determined that all four managers be certified in
Kaplan/Norton Balanced Score Cards. The Palladium BSC
boot camp, based in the United States,
was the most suited to the company.
In note 9 of the complaint, Olivierre
told the EOC that she had submitted
the required documents for approval to attend the training
but was soon informed that NGC s president, Indar Maharaj,
denied her request for approval on the grounds that NGC was
well-versed in the area of BSC and, therefore, did not need
further training in that area.
In Note 10: Olivierre claimed that the senior manager of
OSM then recommended that she attend the Palladium summit
on leading strategy execution as his replacement. The senior
manager was due to attend but Maharaj said the senior manager
was expected to retire in 2015 and for succession planning to
occur an officer who reported to the senior manager ought
to attend. Olivierre was then recommended but then denied
on the basis that she was not originally scheduled to attend.
Dr Haydn Furlonge, manager, LNG and investment analysis,
was granted approval to attend the programme. In her complaint,
she stated that she and her supervisor were both of African
descent while Furlonge was East Indian.
The gas company responded in Note 13, saying that no
employee has the right to training, that training specifically
in BSC is not exclusive to a particular department, the com-
plainant was not deficient in training and there is existing
protocol with regard to approving training.
In Note 14: NGC stated that training is based on budgetary
approval as well.
In Note 19: the commission in its supplemental notice to
the respondent, asked NGC to explain why Furlonge who was
not from OSM was granted approval to attend BSC training.
NGC on March 24, 2014, said it anticipated that BSC would
be transferred from OSM to the commercial unit.
NGC stated in its response to the EOC: "The respondent
(NGC) has been engaged in the restructuring of its organisation
since 2012. Despite this, not all of these policies have been
formally implemented, the respondent has already put into
practice some initiatives which reflects its new organisational
structure. In particular, the monitoring of the BSC is to be
fully transferred from its OSM to the commercial unit. In
anticipation of this initiative, Hayden Furlonge from the com-
mercial unit was selected to attend the BSC training in 2012."
According to the EOC s report, the list of names of employees
which was submitted to the EOC who attended training
"revealed that some persons went abroad more than once."
NGC, according to Note 28, outlined to the EOC the cir-
cumstances which led to Olivierre s non-attendance saying:
• The manager of OSM recommended that the complainant
attend the summit based on the instructions regarding suc-
cession planning. This recommendation came subsequent to
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt SEPTEMBER 17 • 2015
Olivierre's complaint against state company:
Minister claims NGC
her based on race
Continued on Page 5
Minister of Energy
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