Jan 03, 2021 News
– Auditor General’s report
Former President David Granger had employed a total of 471 contract workers for 2019 with their payments accounting for a whopping 75% of employment cost for that year alone.
According to the Auditor General’s Report for 2019, amounts totalling $1.954 billion were budgeted for Employment Costs, while $1.938 billion was expended by the Ministry of the Presidency.Included in the sum of $1.938 billion were amounts totalling $1.844 billion, which were expended for the payment of wages and salaries.
The report outlined that “audit checks revealed that the sum of $1.375 billion, which is approximately seventy-five percent of the total Employment Costs, was paid to employees who were employed on a contractual basis.”
Further, the 471 employees on contract represented approximately 51% of the 924 employees as of December 2019.
The Auditor General, Deodat Sharma, noted too that a Circular dated February 7th, 2017 from the Public Service Commission (PSC) required Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Departments and Regional Executive Officers to submit a list of all officers on contract/gratuity for them to be appointed on the pensionable establishment.
The AG pointed out that the 189 contracted employees were below the age of 45 and should have been transferred to the pensionable establishment. Included in the 189 contracted employees, were 102 employees who were contracted as of December 2018, and should have been transferred to the permanent establishment.
In response to his claims, the Head of Budget Agency for the Ministry of the Presidency indicated that the transition of staff to the pensionable establishment is an on-going process.
“The administration is faced with many challenges, such as staff members who haven’t met the requirements for transfer due to the upgrade of their qualifications, among other factors,” the report noted.
Guyana’s Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, in an invited comment on this revelation stated that “99% of those employees were political appointees.”
“They were not even required to be there nor were they qualified. So we inherited a Public Service that was about four times what it should be, now how do you expect us to maintain that?” he added.
In its recommendations, the Audit Office asked the Head of Budget Agency to continue with the process of moving its current eligible employees over to the pensionable establishment in keeping with circularized instructions.
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