The New Today

Taxpayers should not pay!!!

With every change of government, the expectation of the people is that the wrongs of the past are corrected in a timely manner.

This is the situation facing the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell who is a newcomer to the complicated and complex battles that are expected in the political arena especially against a wily figure like Dr. Keith Mitchell who should never be under-estimated.

It is generally known by the population that the defeated Keith Mitchell admitted publicly that the system of government was badly broken, yet he did nothing to fix anything as the chaos that reigned was very much to his advantage.

The last Prime Minister was very reluctant to appoint persons to permanently hold certain critical positions in the public service in order to shift them around if they did not do the things that were expected of them by the Political Directorate.

The Grenada Public Service became the laughing stock in the country as some people referred to it as a place with many actors that could give Hollywood serious competition.

The chaotic situation that existed resulted in many civil servants being pushed around and with many becoming square pegs in round holes and put in jobs that they knew little or nothing about, and joined the growing list of idlers in the service.

THE NEW TODAY is calling on the Congress government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to address this situation with some degree of urgency as the taxpayers of the country should not be allowed to continue to upkeep an unhealthy situation because of bad management by the previous rulers.

The Prime Minister should ask all his ministers to get, from their respective Permanent Secretaries, the names of public officers who are assigned to their ministries but not engaged in any meaningful and productive work for their pay cheque.

There are hundreds of qualified public officers who have been dumped in ministries doing nothing except to look at the ceiling.

Many other public officers will show up to work only to log their names into the book and then leave the premises to do any and everything else except work for the State.

It is also sad and unfortunate that others have been allowed to start their own private businesses and earn much more money each month than what is paid to them by the Treasury for their so-called state-assigned jobs.

It appears that the jobs of hundreds of public officers who fell out with the previous regime were eventually handed over to some of the Imanis that were brought into the system by the NNP administration for the strategic purpose of getting votes for general elections.

The new rulers have already announced that Grenada lost millions of dollars in grant funding from international donors due to a deficit in drafting project proposals to access the kinds of funding that are known to be available.

However, there are several public officers within the same service who have been sidelined by the former administration and are very much qualified in the area of project preparation to bring in millions of dollars each year for the government to do projects for the development of the country.

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his NDC ministers need to do an urgent assessment of the personnel within the service with the skillset to engage in project preparation to get funds and also in the execution of the projects whenever the money is rolled out by donors.

It is one thing to have a Ministry of Implementation and Mobilisation headed by Member of Parliament for South St George Andy Williams, but he must have the tools at his disposal in order to become effective and to deliver for the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

The public service is definitely bloated and needs an urgent overhaul as the taxpayers should not be called upon month after month to foot the bill for the unhealthy state of affairs that they did nothing to create within the public service.

THE NEW TODAY suspects that in excess of EC$1 million is paid out by the Treasury every month to public officers who have been left without any work to do because of the actions of politicians.

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has to address this critical issue in keeping with his transformational agenda.

Another matter that needs to be addressed especially in this the hurricane season is the operations of the National Disaster Management Authority (NaDMa), as this is too much of an important area in the scheme of things where climate change and climate resilience are concerned.

The previous administration paid nothing but lip-service where NaDMa is concerned, including the appointment of a senator who became the laughing stock of many who were qualified in the field.

There should be District Committees in place as part of the NaDMa’s outreach in every constituency, but it is doubtful whether many of them are functioning.

The information on hand is that the agency is fully equipped with many of the tools that are needed to engage in the clean-up effort after a natural disaster.

The recent high winds that caused so much damage in the country would have alerted the new government that it has to take a fresh look at the operations of NaDMa as the most active month in the hurricane season is fast approaching.

The ball is very much in the court of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell as National Disaster is one of his portfolios.

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