Jun 02, 2015 News
More than 20 persons who were secretly working at the Office of President under the guise of being
‘Work Processor Operator’, but were actually doing political work under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government, yesterday had their services terminated.
According to sources within of the Ministry of the Presidency, most of the staffers were being paid to write letters to the editors to the various newspapers, and to create fake profiles on Facebook and other social websites.
It would be one of the most glaring cases that have emerged in which state resources were being abused under the previous Government.
Almost a dozen of them had contracts with the National Communications Network (NCN), reportedly receiving salaries from that entity as well as from the Office of the President.
Other state entities were used to pay salaries for the PPP activists. This is being investigated.
Yesterday, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, confirmed that he had earlier in the day issued letters ending the contracts.
“They were not working in the interest of the state. They were basically doing party work. We can’t waste taxpayers’ monies like this,” the Minister said.
Kaieteur News was told that secret hiring of the 20-odd persons was unearthed shortly after the new Government took office.
During a meeting with Government officials and Heads of the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN), it was discovered that more than a dozen staffers were receiving fortnightly payments. Some of the contracts were for 12 months.
The NCN management was ordered to prepare contracts for a dozen persons.
The 20-odd persons were said to be under the watch of Kwame Mc Coy, the controversial Press Liaison, who served under the administrations of Bharrat Jagdeo and then Donald Ramotar.
On Mc Coy’s orders, the special media unit was tasked with monitoring critics of Government and responding to them, in the online fora and in the newspapers.
Among the persons in the unit was a relative of a former senior PPP/C Minister and another is closely related to a Parliamentarian who lives in Berbice and works at the NCN branch.
Among other things, the bloggers, some of them were based at OP, would monitor especially Facebook and counter criticisms leveled against the then administration.
The running of the unit was a public secret to staffers in OP, NCN and the Government Information Agency.
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