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CFO post not advertised to Bermudians

The Minister of Health gave permission for hospital chiefs to hire a non-Bermudian as chief financial officer without advertising the job, The Royal Gazette can reveal.

The Bermuda Hospitals Board told this newspaper that David Thompson was given the “very senior position” for a two-year period after his predecessor Delia Basden resigned in 2014.

A spokeswoman said: “The current BHB CFO, Mr Thompson, was initially seconded from PricewaterhouseCoopers as an interim CFO in 2013 while the Auditor-General carried out an investigation and the existing CFO, Ms Delia Basden, was on administrative leave.

“BHB was not able to hire a new CFO during this time as Ms Basden was still a BHB employee. Ms Basden subsequently tendered her resignation in 2014. Given the very difficult financial challenges that BHB was dealing with, and the amount of time a full recruitment process and orientation for this very senior position would take, approval was sought by the board from the Minister of Health to appoint Mr Thompson as CFO for two further years. The post was therefore not advertised in 2014.”

The spokeswoman confirmed that Mr Thompson, who specialises in public sector financial management, was a work permit holder.

She said the CFO position was legislated in the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act 1970 and appointment of the position was the responsibility of the board and required the approval of the health minister. Mr Thompson's biography on the board's website states that he was seconded to cover the CFO position in March 2013, having more than 20 years experience in public practice and having acted as director of finance for two UK government departments.

In April 2014, then BHB chairman Jonathan Brewin said Mr Thompson would continue as interim CFO while the “board considers the best long-term solution for the post to meet [the] needs of BHB and ensure it continues on the path towards financial sustainability”.

Jeanne Atherden became Minister of Health in May 2014 and Mr Thompson was appointed as CFO two months later, according to the BHB website.

His two-year contract will end in June this year. The BHB spokeswoman said: “The board is currently deliberating on the expertise needed to fill this critical position in what remains a very challenging financial situation.

“Due process has been followed consistently throughout. The board will decide whether it will continue to appoint this position through a secondment or hire substantially into the role.” The BHB revealed in June 2013 that it was facing a cash crisis and Ms Atherden told the House of Assembly in March last year that it was expected to run out of cash “in the near future”.

A six-month unaudited financial update released last week showed revenue of $156.5 million and expenses of $151.6 million. The results of the Auditor's 2013 review of BHB's finances have yet to be made public.

We asked Ms Atherden for comment but a ministry spokesman said that “no further comments can be made” on the statement. The BHB spokeswoman did not respond by press time to a question about the amount of the CFO's salary.

David Thompson

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Published January 07, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated January 11, 2016 at 8:27 am)

CFO post not advertised to Bermudians

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