The New Today

The late payment!!!

THE NEW TODAY is extremely concerned that the issue of late payment of salaries to some members of the public service has raised its ugly head once again.

This should be a non-issue and no government should allow itself to be saddled for any length of time by inefficiency in the public service.

The current Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Mike Sylvester is not new to the job and should make sure that systems are put in place to correct any problem that might surface from time to time.

It is an established fact that the Finance Officers in the various government ministries will know the timeframe in which to submit all the payment details to the relevant people in the Ministry of Finance.

There can be no justifiable excuse from these officers on why the payment information is being sent very late to the ministry to facilitate the salaries of all public officers.

The government ministers are not the ones who prepare the data to be forwarded to the Ministry of Finance.

The Public Workers Union (PWU) through its most vocal executive members, President Brian Grimes and Public Relations Officer (PRO) Daisy Hazzard should step in and urge their members to perform and do the jobs that are expected of them.

This is the same union that is championing the cause of regularisation of public officers by the current Congress government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.

Are they asking the government to regularise this high degree of incompetence in the public service?

The PWU officials should follow in the footsteps of the President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) Jude Bartholomew and mount a series of seminars for its membership on the issue of productivity at the workplace.

The union cannot just continue to make a case for better working conditions for its members and increase in wages every three years as much more is expected of the PWU in terms of getting its members to deliver in terms of Value for Money.

THE NEW TODAY is also making a plea for the two most experienced members of the government with knowledge of the public service – Finance Minister Dennis Cornwall and Agriculture and Economic Development Minister Lennox Andrews – to help sort out this issue of late payment of public officers.

As one senior public officer commented, under the former New National Party (NNP) government of Keith Mitchell, she never received any late salary over the years.

So why is it now different? Has the system and personnel changed? Is there a new payroll system that has been introduced under the Congress administration?

Our investigation seems to suggest that nothing has changed for there to be any late payment of salaries to public officers.

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell has a responsibility to the thousands of Congress supporters both inside and outside the country to take the necessary steps to ensure that the late payment history that beset the 2008-13 government of Tillman Thomas is never repeated.

Both Ministers Cornwall and Andrews need to bring their expertise and experience to the fore within the walls of the Cabinet Room to help the government devise a strategy to defeat this menace.

Our suspicion is that some public officers who are aligned to the defeated NNP regime are at work on behalf of their party to engage in acts of sabotage.

The Cabinet of Ministers should ask PM Dickon Mitchell to read the riot act to all Permanent Secretaries to get their Finance Officers in the various ministries to perform their roles or face the necessary consequences in going forward.

The culprits should be identified, as well as named and shamed in the public for failing to submit the payment figures on time to the Ministry of Finance for people to get their salaries.

Another option is to take disciplinary action at the level of the Public Service Commission (PSC) against any officer who is falling short in the performance of his/her work with summary dismissal being high on the agenda.

The NNP is not sleeping and has sufficient of its agents in key positions in the public service to engage in the type of action that will result in some people losing faith in Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his Congress administration.

This late payment situation has to be arrested now.

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