House clashes over increase of contracted workers

Last Updated on Monday, 15 February 2016, 15:47 by Denis Chabrol

The considerations for Budget 2016 commenced on Monday with a clash between the Government and Opposition side of the House over an increase in contractual workers under the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP).

State Minister Joseph Harmon, in the Committee of Supply was questioned on the names and designations of the four highest and lowest paid persons employed under MOTP. This questioned was posed by former Public Service Ministry Dr Jennifer Westford.

Harmon then revealed that Andrew Bishop Guyana’s lead negotiator on climate change was the highest paid with a salary of $1.05M per month. The others include Head of the E-Governance Project Floyd Levi at $930,000, Chairman of the Civil Defence Commission Chabulall Ramsarup with $830,000 and Janelle Christian at $700,000.

The four persons that were the lowest paid were earning the minimum wage and identified as three cleaners and one handy man.

PPP MP Juan Edghill also asked what is responsible for the increase in contractual workers and the date of appointment and the process that was used for their engagement.

Harmon responded saying that the increase of “130 persons represents increases across the spectrum of persons employed since May 2015” noting that several Ministries and departments which stood alone before May 2015 became part of the MOTP.

“What we have seen is basically a coming together of ministries and department therefore those hirings were conducted,” he said adding “persons were employed based on a need and a vacancy that existed when we took office.”

Harmon said that while most persons were identified for posts, some of the vacancies were advertised.

“Persons were identified. They were interviewed…some of them were advertised and some were identified based on a need that was identified and was urgent,” he said.