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‘Show Us The Proof On Hiring’

FORMER Public Service Minister Brensil Rolle. Photo: Donovan McIntosh/Tribune Staff

FORMER Public Service Minister Brensil Rolle. Photo: Donovan McIntosh/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Tribune Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

FORMER Public Service Minister Brensil Rolle yesterday said it was “totally untrue” that people were hired in the civil service on the day of the election.

Mr Rolle challenged State Public Service Minister Pia Glover Rolle to produce the evidence to support her claims, including the assertion that dozens of people are being paid but sitting at home because there are no jobs for them to do.

 Mr Rolle said if she did, he would retract his statement.

 On Wednesday, Mrs Glover-Rolle disclosed that the government was trying to find somewhere to place the people who were at home, but receiving salaries. She placed a conservative figure of 40 on the number of workers in this category, who are a part of the 52-week jobs programme spread across the country. She said it was possible some may have to be disengaged as a hiring freeze continues until well into next year.

 Yesterday, the former Garden Hills MP rejected the assertion.

 “What I can tell you is that is totally untrue, “ Mr Rolle said when he was contacted by this newspaper.

 “I’ll begin by saying that unlike the PLP who did that in 2017 and had hundreds—not 20 or 30—hundreds of individuals engaged by word of mouth that we were compelled to hire because they were legitimately hired, we thought, by the government of The Bahamas.

“We thought the word of ministers meant something and we hired these persons without any rank or any discussion or going to the media. We just thought that they were hired by the PLP. It was not their fault that the election was called or that they were hired just before the election and you can check the Ministry of Public Service, you know. I could tell you many things, I could tell you what has been said to me and one of the things that was said to me for example was that a minister (in the Christie administration) with the authority to hire left his office at 1am on Election Day, hiring.

 “We didn’t do that. Every single person that we engaged was legitimately hired. It was not done on Election Day and all the persons we hired in the programme (are) consistent with what was done every single year from the inception of the programme by both the PLP and FNM.”

 He explained how the 52-week programme has worked.

 “There is a budget for the 52-week programme. Persons were engaged in the programme and formally what we did was we sent them out to various government ministries and the private sector. Many members of the private sector hired these individuals during the year and when the budget was passed in June of each year and when we took note of what we got in July of each year in August of every year from 2007 when the Free National Movement founded the programme, we placed individuals. That is exactly what we did this year.

 “Unfortunately the election was called and some were caught up in it.

 “So, what I will say is unlike what the PLP did, all of the persons that we engaged in the programme were properly and officially hired.

 “They were all given a letter of appointment. They all went through a process. The same process that was used every single year and more importantly, and the only exception is, we wanted to make sure that persons who engaged in the programme this year depending on where they were placed that they were properly vaccinated.

 “Some people they were all selected in July and August and some people did not get vaccinated in time and therefore could not be placed in time, but they were legitimately hired and hired before Election Day.”

 He also said: “So, my comment is that minister was wrong to seek to expose these individuals who are all properly engaged by the government of The Bahamas before elections who’ve gone through the service and engaged by the minister of public service over the years to replace individuals on the 52-weeks programme and we did the same thing this year. That’s no exception.”

 He challenged the state minister to make public the proof to support her claims.

 “If the minister can provide names of individuals who are home, who are being paid, who were hired on Election Day or afterwards —if she can provide that I will retract my statement, but I stand by my statement until she provides the names.”

Comments

tribanon 2 months ago

As bad as Pia is, Brensil was worse.

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