– Cites malpractice and disappearance of tax dollars
By Abena Rockcliffe
President David Ganger yesterday cast aside cries of witch hunting saying that in each case where the government has terminated the services of a public servant, there was a “good explanation.”
“There has not been a purge; there has been no witch hunting,” said Granger.
The President told the media of the instances where it was found that “funds have disappeared”. He recalled cases of malpractice saying that those cases were taken to Cabinet which made its decisions.
“So there has been no witch hunting or any purging.”
The Head of State said that his government intends to pursue a transparent and efficient economy.
He added, “In my first week in office, I mentioned that we need an efficient public service. Some persons who were not prepared to participate in our programme have since left the service.”
President Granger renewed his administration’s commitment to the launch of a Public Service Staff College. He said, “We want to make sure our Public Servants are trained and I told them that Public Servants must be ‘unbribeable’. We want an honest and efficient Public Service (The public servants) will be better paid, better educated and they will be respected. That is what we are aiming at.”
Since the government assumed office, many officials spent a lot of time defending the dismissal of several public servants while the former governing party—People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C)—made cries of witch hunting and “ethnic cleansing.”
Many Government Ministers took time during their budget presentations to defend Government’s right to fire errant public servants. Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, went as far as to say that “it is necessary” whenever a new government takes over to let some people go.
More than 20 persons who were secretly working at the Office of the President under the guise of being ‘Work Processor Operators’, but were actually doing political work under the People’s PPP/C Government, 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 of the various newspapers, and to create fake profiles on Facebook and other social websites.
It would be one of the most glaring cases to 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.
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.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon had told the media that the Ministry of the Presidency was overstaffed by almost 200 persons.
Advisors to the former President, Donald Ramotar, and “research” personnel have been fired.
People like Odinga Lumumba, who had responsibilities for “Youth Empowerment” is also gone. At least two Permanent Secretaries who campaigned for the PPP were sent home.
The government also stopped paying 2000 indigenous Community Support Officers who were found to have been paid to do community work for the PPP.
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