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Perusing the Director of Tourism’s Plum Contract #547396
01/09/21 06:01 AM
01/09/21 06:01 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,560
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

On the heels of a stunning defeat at the polls on November eleventh last year, it was expected that all U.D.P. appointed chairpersons on various statutory bodies, including the executives of the Belize Tourism Board, would step down as the respectable course of action.  Director of Tourism Karen Bevans, who signed a five-year contract to remain in that position until 2024, insists on staying put, despite coming under fire from the new administration.  Her contract, signed at the beginning of the 2019 financial calendar, is for one hundred and seventy-three thousand dollars annually. Here’s News Five’s Isani Cayetano with a breakdown of the agreement.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Director of Tourism Karen Bevans renewed her employment contract with the Government of Belize at the start of the fiscal year 2019, for a five year period that commenced on April eighth of that same year.  It is a rather straightforward agreement which lays out quite clearly the terms of reference under which she functions as head of the Belize Tourism Board.  In her capacity, Bevans raked in an annual salary of one hundred and seventy-three thousand, two hundred and fifty dollars which, over the life of the contract, amounts to almost eight hundred and seventy thousand dollars.  This is separate from a salary increase based on her performance which ranges between five and ten percent per annum.  It is also apart from the twenty-five percent yearly bonus she receives at the end of each fiscal year and her annual Christmas bonus.  But what is most glaring about the terms of that agreement are the monthly allowances that Bevans enjoys.  While her registered home address is on Queen Helmet Avenue, Coral Grove, Belize City, Bevans also receives a housing allowance of two thousand dollars at the end of each month.  She also receives a thousand dollar perk for monthly communications expenses, that is for telephone calls and internet usage.  Bevans’ pension and insurance benefits are equally interesting.  As director, she is part of B.T.B.’s Executive Management Team, in a pension scheme called B.T.B. Top Hat.  She is eligible to participate in the B.T.B. Health and Life Insurance Group Plan; however, if she chooses not to, the B.T.B. will cover her individual policy at its expense.  In her role, Bevans is also assigned a vehicle for exclusive use and the organization foots all other related expenses, including fuel and maintenance.

Since the People’s United Party took office following the November 2020 elections, there have been several concerns about Bevans’ contract.  But getting rid of the present Director of Tourism is not as easy as giving her the walking papers.  To do so without cause prior to the expiration of the contract will leave government on the hook for sums equal to all salaries and all other remuneration.  She is also entitled to all other benefits that would have been due to her for the full remaining term of the contract.  And while notice is usually given six months prior to the end of the contract, it can be automatically renewed on the same terms set out in the existing agreement in the absence of notice from either party.

Channel 5

Re: Perusing the Director of Tourism’s Plum Contract [Re: Marty] #547502
01/14/21 05:51 AM
01/14/21 05:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,560
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Tourism Minister on Karen Bevans’ Contract

On Friday, the contract for B.T.B.’s Tourism Director, Karen Bevan’s, was leaked to the public.  Since that time, the details of the employment agreement signed on April first, 2019 have been causing much debate as the public continues tallying up the benefits outlined in the lucrative contract.  The five-year contract starts with an annual salary of one hundred and seventy-three thousand two hundred and fifty dollars; that’s not including salary increases of up to ten percent based on performance or the twenty-five percent yearly bonus. Add to that, allowances for housing and communication expenses. The director’s salary alone is more than what the current C.E.O. in the ministry earns.  Former employees of B.T.B. are most annoyed as in March of 2020, over fifty percent of the staff was issued separation packages due to the economic crunch caused by COVID.  So, where is Bevans? Well, she’s at work at the B.T.B.’s office.  In an exclusive interview with News Five, Minister Anthony Mahler says that he and his team will be working with Director Bevans in a professional capacity as promoting the country during these COVID-times is the priority.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“She was fortunate enough to negotiate that contract and got it signed so it is what it is.

Duane Moody

“So how do we get out of it?”

Anthony Mahler

“We are seriously looking at that.  A new board has been appointed and I am sure they are going to have a discussion with Misses Bevans if she wants to stay on as the director. I will let the board deal with that process and that will go through due process and we will see where we end up. Currently Misses Bevans is still the Director of Tourism and we have to try to work along with her at this point in time.

Duane Moody

“So she is at work?”

Anthony Mahler

“Yes she is at work.  We have to both be professional. This is a professional organization and we are in critical times so we have to put everything aside and focus on the job at hand.”

More Details Emerge from the Karen Bevans Contract

The five-year contract signed by the Director of Tourism Karen Bevans in April 2019 is the subject of much scrutiny, particularly since it has left the new P.U.P. administration hamstrung and cannot name a director of its own. In poring over the agreement, we note that the former Chief Operations Officer at Belize Telemedia Limited is given a thousand dollars in monthly allowance for communication expenses. Upon leaving the utility company in 2014, Bevans was given five years of free telephone and internet service as part of her package. While we are not privy to the details of her initial contract as Director of Tourism, it stands to reason that the terms are very much the same where communication expenses are concerned. If this were the case, it would suggest that Bevans may have benefited from the allowance, despite her monthly bill being waived. News Five has confirmed that the five-year period of free telephone and internet expired at the end of March 2019.

Channel 5

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