52 scan­dals un­der APNU/AFC

Weekend Mirror - - COMMENTARY -

of whom meets the qual­i­fi­ca­tion cri­te­ria for these jobs. They are all paid more than many per­sons with much more se­nior po­si­tions in the pub­lic ser­vice. This Min­is­ter has made sure that these fam­ily mem­bers drive a gov­ern­ment ve­hi­cle to and from work and for non-work pur­poses.

The gov­ern­ment hired special pros­e­cu­tors to in­ves­ti­gate mem­bers of the for­mer PPP govt from the law of­fices of two of the Min­is­ters. Another high rank­ing Min­is­ter’s son-in-law is fa­cil­i­tat­ing and bring­ing in in­vestors for the pro­posed pri­va­ti­za­tion of Skel­don Es­tate.

This is not an un­com­mon prac­tice for APNU+AFC. This trav­esty, in fact, is wide­spread, as reg­u­lar staff have been ter­mi­nated or trans­ferred to cre­ate room for fam­ily mem­bers, friends, party ac­tivists and donors in a brazen dis­place­ment of reg­u­lar pub­lic ser­vice ap­point­ment by nepo­tism. Hence, the need to over­throw the Chair­man of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, Mr. Duncan, and cre­ate a com­pli­ant con­sti­tu­tional body in vi­o­la­tion of the con­sti­tu­tion.

Each Min­is­ter has ad­vis­ers, special as­sis­tants, special se­cu­rity, ve­hi­cles, in­creased ben­e­fits, in­creased over­seas travel al­lowances which they do not have to ac­count for, all paid for by the tax pay­ers. Re­mem­ber MP Bishop Edghill is be­fore the Priv­i­lege Com­mit­tee in the Na­tional As­sem­bly for stat­ing that the in­creased salaries, ben­e­fits etc will cost the tax­pay­ers an ad­di­tional $ 1B be­tween 2016 and 2020.

The Prime Min­is­ter and First Vice Pres­i­dent with a port­fo­lio of over­see­ing the two state agen­cies and the De­part­ment of Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion has 2 ad­vi­sors, 5 special as­sis­tants, 2 ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tants in Re­gions No. 2 and 6, a Re­gional Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Re­gion No. 3, one Le­gal as­sis­tant, a Press sec­re­tary and the Di­rec­tor of Dept of Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion. This list omits the staff at the PM’s res­i­dence, se­cu­rity and 4 cars that ac­com­pany him all the time ( Note: Prime Min­is­ter Sam Hinds had 2 cars).

The gov­ern­ment has em­ployed another 2000 on con­tract ( although they at­tacked the PPP govt for con­tracted em­ploy­ees) through the pub­lic ser­vice to fill the bu­reau­cracy ( see Min­is­ter Trot­man’s speech at May Day 2017). Since com­ing into of­fice the gov­ern­ment is set­ting up their elec­toral ma­chin­ery within the gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties.

Two Min­is­ters are ben­e­fit­ting from fully funded post grad­u­ate university schol­ar­ships to do their Masters and Doc­tor­ate while low in­come chil­dren have to com­pete for limited schol­ar­ships with Min­is­ters and their fam­i­lies.

2. In­com­pe­tence and in­ep­ti­tude in managing the an­nual bud­gets and the econ­omy.

The gov­ern­ment‘ s abysmal per­for­mance in managing the econ­omy and the in­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of reck­less poli­cies have re­sulted in most sec­tors go­ing into de­cline, even those that have been per­form­ing such as the gold in­dus­try is now un­der duress. The gov­ern­ment has fur­ther com­pounded the prob­lems in the econ­omy with their in­com­pe­tence to man­age 3 bud­gets since tak­ing of­fice. They passed in 2015 a bud­get of $221B although there was only 5 months left in the year, then bud­get 2016 $230 B and Bud­get 2017 $ 250 B with $9 B added as sup­ple­men­tary funds yet the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance Jor­dan an­nounced that the Min­istries and Re­gions have all un­der­per­formed and only spent on av­er­age 30% of the cap­i­tal bud­get by June 30, 2017.

We are at the half way mark of the APNU+AFC Coali­tion’s term of of­fice and there­fore with this track record of cor­rup­tion, and in­com­pe­tence and the stealthy and con­sis­tent un­der­min­ing of the Con­sti­tu­tion and the blur­ring of the sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers be­tween the ex­ec­u­tive, leg­is­la­ture and ju­di­ciary, we can expect to see much more of this, and worse, be­fore the 2020 elec­tions.

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