52 scandals under APNU/AFC
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.