Gov’t “owes explanation” for increase in public service payroll

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The public deserves an explanation from the government of Antigua and Barbuda for the increase in payroll.
Kelton Dalso, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) spokesperson for public service, human resource development and labour, made the comments on the revelation from Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst that there was an increase in government payroll from $23 million in 2014 to $35 million in 2018.
Dalso said, on OBSERVER AM yesterday, that the increase must be explained by government in detail.
“The public deserves to know, in detail, where these positions were filled in what ministry and who are these individuals and what positions they hold,” he said.
Dalso alleged that the increase in government employees was the result of rewarding party supporters and retirees returning to manage various ministerial positions.
“We (the DNA) believe that these people were put in these government services because of promises made by the ruling party. Not only that, there are a large number of individuals who were brought back, who were retirees, and placed in various ministries in Antigua and Barbuda that are reaping the benefits and high wages,” he said.
Dalso called for civil service reform, saying that government employees need to be trained in customer service and implementing a mentorship programme for university degree students to learn skills from the most experienced employees.
“We have to start from that foundation to place competent [people orientated] individuals to these offices,” he said, adding, “we have to get rid of the retirees, who are being brought back, taking large sums of money home and try to have young individuals coming home with their degree and have them understudying these [retirees] so they can take over when it is time for them to go.”

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