Who is now in charge of National Insurance?
WE do not have time to listen to talk shows. However, we are told that Algernon Cargill, suspended Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Insurance Board, is being heavily criticised on some of these shows for what he is alleged to have taken from NIB.
All the evidence turned up so far in the NIB controversy shows that Mr Cargill has taken nothing that he did not honestly earn at NIB. Daily it is becoming more obvious that Mr Cargill has been chashiered out because he was over zealous in protecting the people’s insurance. For example, when organisations failed to pay their contributions, they were taken to court. Mr Cargill’s failure was that he was not sufficiently selective in who he and his staff took to court. As one of them commented: “It didn’t matter who you were or what your politics might have been, if you refused to pay, we met you to court.”
In other words, when the PLP government came in, it was found that the Cargill regime was not always politically correct in their judgment. There also were times when the new Chairman of the Board’s instructions were thwarted by Mr Cargill because they were either contrary to policy or were ultra vires the insurance act.
Also PLP propagandists, to take the heat off their party, are spreading outlandish figures around, claiming for example that Mr Cargill’s take home pay is $420,000 a year when in fact the figure is spread out over a period of four years.
Mr Cargill was recruited from the private sector by the Ingraham government in 2008. He had been working for the Chevron company for eight years – two years in Nassau, three years in Miami and almost three years in Puerto Rico where he was District Manager, Country Chairman and Legal Representative for Chevron Puerto Rico LLC. His responsibilities included Puerto Rico and the Eastern Caribbean. As one can imagine he was earning a good salary. However, he agreed, at a considerable cut in salary to return home to head NIB.
His base annual salary at NIB was $178,000 with a duty allowance of $12,000. He had the choice of having a company car, the model to be “decided by NIB at its sole discretion.” Or he could “elect a car allowance.” He took the offer of a company car, rather than the allowance.
And then there was the performance bonus, which was to be approved by the Board of Directors of the Executive Human Resources Committee. The chairman of the Board is also the chairman of the committee. The bonus payments were written into the contract.
Over a four-year period his bonus payments averaged $194,000 or $48,500 per year. These benefits were paid only after the performance targets were met and verified by the external auditor. If they were not met there was no bonus. However, Mr Cargill met his targets.
This was the basic contract — with a merit bonus built in – of all NIB executives.
And then, of course, there was a tissue of lies told about director’s fees paid by the various boards on which he sat.
The propagandists claimed that Mr Cargill was paid a director’s fee for “representing NIB’s investments in the Arawak Port Development.” This was a deliberate lie. NIB does not hold a Board seat at this company.
There also was the claim that Mr Cargill received “$25,000 each from Cable Bahamas, Commonwealth Brewery and Bank of the Bahamas.” Another lie.
He served on the Cable Bahamas Board for one year, and was paid $5,000 per quarter. He also served on the Commonwealth Brewery Board for almost a year at $3,000 per quarter. He served on the Bank of Bahamas Board for almost two years — $3,000 per quarter in the first year and $5,000 per quarter in the second year.
He was removed from the Bank of the Bahamas Board in May when the Christie government came in. Although the Bahamas government owns 32 per cent of this bank, there is still no one representing the people’s interest in Mr Cargill’s absence. According to affidavits filed in court by Mr Cargill against NIB and Board Chairman Gregory Moss, Mr Cargill stated that Labour Minister Sean Gibson informed him that it was government’s intention that either “Gregory Moss or Patrick Davis would represent NIB on the various Bahamas Boards where NIB held directorship positions.”
Mr Cargill had been appointed to this Board. However, he was not reappointed under the new government, although the Bahamas Investment Authority’s letter of June 6, 2011 stated: “The Director of the National Insurance Board is the Government’s nominee in perpetuity” and “only the Government is to be able to remove its nominee.”
There are also all sorts of rumours floating around about Mr Cargill’s misuse of his credit card. Apparently, the card was issued to make purchases for NIB. It was reported that an audit on this card found everything in order.
Despite the eyebrow raising, Mr Cargill is receiving the same director’s fee as every person who sits on the boards on which he sat. As for his pay from NIB he received nothing outside of his contract, and according to the Hay Group report – an international group hired by government to analyse the market competitiveness of NIB senior management’s compensation— it was found that the salaries of NIB senior management at the time of the survey were “not competitive.”
With the steady hand of Mr Cargill removed Bahamians would now like to know who is managing their investments at NIB. The suggestion is that it is Board Chairman Gregory Moss and Board member Patrick Davis.