– Ramjattan says they are “validly there”
De Facto President David Granger, on Monday gave approval for Army Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, to proceed on accumulated pre-retirement leave effective from today. His leave is expected to end in March 2021 at which time his retirement will kick in.
Colonel Godfrey Bess has been selected as his successor and will be presented with his instrument of appointment today.
Back in 2015, when the Granger administration took office, all public servants were ordered to take their annual leave when due or forfeit same since it was recognized that taking payment in lieu of leave was putting a financial strain on government’s coffers.
Then State Minister, Joseph Harmon, in a message to those holding public offices stated “We are saying, as a general statement, as from 2015 going forward, that when you are entitled to your leave, you have to take it in the year. If you don’t use it, you are going to lose it.”
But it would appear that the Coalition government has selectively reneged on its order.
This is in light of the fact that two top ranking police officers, despite having months of accumulated leave and slated to retire in the near future, are yet to proceed on pre-retirement leave.
The police officers in question are the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, DSS, DSM, and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Maxine Graham.
It was reported on the online news site Big Smith News Watch that when questioned on the matter, Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, was unable to provide an explanation.
Ramjattan stated “Look, I don’t know why they are still on the job, I will have to check that out to see what exactly is happening over there, I am not aware of that…I know nothing about that.”
But when Kaieteur News made contact with the Minister yesterday, he stated that both the Commissioner and his Deputy are “validly there”.
Information reaching this publication revealed that both James and Graham should have proceeded on their accumulated leave since early June. Both, according to reports, have more than 16 months in accumulated leave.
This publication was also privy to copies of documents, confirming that both the Top Cop and his Deputy should have been sent on leave.
According to the documents, Commissioner James has accumulated 306 days of leave, and should have proceeded on leave on June 28 last. His retirement date, according to the documents seen, is May 5, 2021. With regards to Deputy Commissioner Graham, she has accumulated 172 days of leave and should have left her post since June 11 since her retirement date is December 1, 2020.
Traditionally, any public servant who attains the age of 55 is required to retire from his or her post. The system, moreover, caters for public servants with accumulated leave to proceed on same into their retirement.
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