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$10m More In Govt Salaries

State Minister for Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle speaks in the House of Assembly earlier this year.

State Minister for Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle speaks in the House of Assembly earlier this year.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE government’s payroll increased by $10m as new employees were hired in the final five months of the former Christie administration, State Minister for Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle said during his contribution to the budget debate in the House of Assembly yesterday.

He said that the Christie administration hired 6,500 new public service workers during the past five years. He suggested that the new administration will take a more rigorous approach to hiring people and that some who were hired under questionable circumstances under the former administration could be terminated.

“Some burdens we cannot carry at the public’s expense,” he said.

“The public service, in salaries alone, ballooned by $10m between December 2016 and May of this year,” he said. “That’s $10m — new employment — nothing to do with hurricane repairs.”

“ Indeed, the public service has ballooned by 6,500 new employees during the watch of the previous administration.”

To highlight the questionable nature of some hiring practices, he revealed that under the previous administration a security guard was hired to guard a police station. And such was the loose nature of the process that some people were hired but never received a salary, he said.

Given his experience in the public sector as a former teacher and a former undersecretary in the Ministry of Works, he said the hiring process under the former administration departed from tradition.

“During my time in the public service,” he said, “anyone who wanted to be hired by any ministry had to, first of all, justify in their budget that the money was available, go to the Ministry of Finance, get financial clearance, then having those documents in hand, go to the public service and then say ‘I’ve identified person A - here’s the position, we’ve made provisions in our budget, I have financial clearance, go ahead and do you work.’ I’m advised that during the last five years that process was thrown outside the window. Indeed, the ministers appear to have been running a parallel service with the Ministry of Public Service where every minister hired whoever they wished at whatever rank they wished, many of whom did not even come to the (Ministry of) Public Service.

“I asked the Ministry of Finance, so how did you pay these people? In many cases those people were not paid, they are still not paid and we are now getting calls to pay them. I look on the public service register, your name is not there. We don’t know that you exist. Over the next few weeks, we will have to determine what to do with these matters.”

Mr Rolle suggested that some people who fall in this category could face termination.

“I don’t want the members opposite to then jump up and scream that there is victimisation (when the government deals with these matters),” he said. “They all know that if you secretly hire an individual, don’t pay them or cause them to be paid by an item inside the budget under a new heading, at some point that will catch up to you and I believe that it has. While this government is fully committed to the Bahamian people, we are fully aware that there are some burdens we cannot carry at the public’s expense.”

Problems

Mr Rolle painted a picture of an administration that failed to fix the problems long known to plague the public service sector.

An assessment by the Commonwealth Secretariat was conducted, he said, and though a myriad of problems were highlighted by the secretariat and a report proposing a way forward was completed, the document never made its way to Cabinet where steps could have been taken to fix such issues, he said.

The diagnostic study highlighted a “dearth of skills of senior and middle managers” in the public sector, “outmoded legislation, antiquated and slothful processes, inadequate use of information and communication technologies, the exploration of lax polices and weak supervisory skills and the lack of citizen engagement.”

He highlighted the number of pensioners in the public sector, saying there are too many of them who often receive higher salaries than non-pensioners who are capable of doing the same work.

“We are being saddled by too many pensioners with skills that are already available within the public service,” he said. “They are given salaries that are substantially higher than those in the public service. Could you imagine an officer in the public service who makes $45,000 a year for example who sees a rehired pensioner come in with full pension and a salary that is higher than the one he makes? What do you think is going to happen to that public servant? This government will engage in an exercise that will somehow deal with these issues.”

Inefficient delivery of public services “must be stopped,” Mr Rolle said.

“The Bahamian public deserves better.”

Comments

proudloudandfnm 2 years ago

Let me tell you something Peter Turnquest.

Don't wait. Fire them NOW. You will then have 5 years to improve our overall situation, and if you do no one will remember yall firing these PLP cronies....

FIRE THEM NOW...

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OMG 2 years ago

Start with the Minister of Education, two years past retirement. Then all ex BUT Presidents rehired as consultants, unqualified ex stewardess hired as head of National Insurance office in a family island. Just think you have already saved $3,275,000 on that old geriatric fool Baltron Bethel and that excludes his perks. Now repeat this time and time again and look how much money you will save in 5 years

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DDK 2 years ago

The practice of Government acting as an employment agency, as pointed out by Rick Lowe of the Bahamas Think Tank several days ago, has been going on for decades and must cease. Government employment and pensions for votes is ruining the economy of this country, along with subsequent governments treating the PUBLIC Treasury as their personal chequing account with the unrestricted abandon of shopaholics.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 years ago

It is absurd for Brensil Rolle to suggest that

"the new administration will take a more rigorous approach to hiring people and that some who were hired under questionable circumstances under the former administration could be terminated."

Surely he meant to say:

"The new administration will immediately adopt a freeze on hiring and then proceed to take a much rigorous approach to reducing the number of costly non-productive people currently employed by the public sector."

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TalRussell 2 years ago

Comrades! The People's Public Treasury are still depositing former BTC employees pension payments into their bank accounts every month - thanks to the "3rd" Red Shirts Regime's sell-off of BTC. Same bullshi#, right? Now, there's a real juicy selling-off BTC story to be told, if the Tribune is seriously interested in a good story reporting opportunity?

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BahamaPundit 2 years ago

Wow. That was fast. FNM already seems like a tired anti-change, status quo, borrowing addicted dinosaur. I can already see this is going to be a very long and dissapointinting five years. All words, no action. And most importantly ZERO BALLS!!!!

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

If a proper and honest human resource audit is done of the Public Service, it will probably be discovered that at least 20% of those on the payroll are either not needed or not qualified (has no job description) to work for the government ................ Another 10% can be retired due to age or past 40 years of service ........ Once this "fat" is cut from the public service, a major reassignment (based on need/skills) must take place within these Ministries .............This what I want to hear from Brensil Rolle (not verbal diarrhea) ........... smdh

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

Case in point ......... many urban schools, clinics, police stations, govt. departments etc. are overstaffed while those on the islands are understaffed .......... Why should this exist, when the government can re-assign/transfer employees???????? ............. Either be re-assigned or resign from your post.

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baldbeardedbahamian 2 years ago

IF YOU GET PAID A SALARY BY THE GOVERNMENT YOU ARE EITHER A FISCAL PARASITE OR IN A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP. WE NEED TO KEEP MOST ALL OF THE LATTER AND GET RID OF MOST ALL OF THE FORMER. 15 TO 20 THOUSAND TOTALLY UNSKILLED UNMOTIVATED EX CIVIK SERVANTS OUT ON THE STREET LOOKING FOR WORK. ONE OF THEM CAN COME DO MY YARD ONCE A WEEK. THE REST BETTER HAVE SAVED SOME OF THEIR EARNINGS AND NOT GIVEN IT TO THE WEBSHOP BOYS OR THE GOD -BOTHERERS.

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BahamaPundit 2 years ago

FNM new slogan, "The People's Slime!" NO FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT. BORROWING 700 BILLION. BAMSI STILL FUNDED. ZERO DETAILS ON PERSONS RECEIVING CORRUPT CONTRACTS. LIGHT ON SPECIFIC DETAILS OR NAMES. NO PLAN TO FIX THE BAHAMAS ECONOMY OR CRIME FROM DAY ONE!!!!

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licks2 2 years ago

This must be birdie or Bran. . .you think this is a dictator state aye? Stop being so dumb. . .

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BahamaPundit 2 years ago

I would add: continuing the fraudulent NHI slush money gravey train moving.

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ohdrap4 2 years ago

back in the day, ingraham disallowed douple dipping and cause retiress to return one income where they were receiving two.

they need to reactivate that, and prevent the govt from engaging people over 70.

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

True ........ That would save at least another $100 million for the Treasury ....... It should be that every civil servant be retired at either 30 years of service or 60 years of age ...... Which ever one comes first ..... Too much deadweight in the government Ministries ......... Plus, create a mandatory 5% contributory pension for all civil servants who are under 20 years of service...... Cut the fat

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birdiestrachan 2 years ago

At some point very soon these fellows will have to stop pointing fingers at the former Government And they will have to produce, The empty talking will be over and the people who voted for them for what ever reason will expect action. What will they do then. ?

The Bahamas own Donald Trump has promised to pop necks I suppose he and super man Dames will be carrying that out very soon. They have no vision. the FNM party has never had any visionary idea for the Bahamas or its people. They can always say what is wrong.

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baldbeardedbahamian 2 years ago

I THINK OPENING UP THE AIRWAVES FOR PRIVATE RADIO STATIONS WAS VISIONARY BACK THEN .SWINDLING AND HIS CREW OF PIRATES WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE IT. PLP 2.0 VISION WAS TO HIRE THOUSANDS OF FISCAL PARASITES INTO THE CIVIL SERVICE THAT THE COUNTRY CAN NOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR. YOU, BIRDIE HAVE NEVER WORKED A REAL JOB IN YOUR LIFE SO YOU HAVE A VERY LIMITED VIEW OF ECONOMICS. DISABILITY PAYMENTS FROM NAT INS. IS LIKE FREE MONEY TO YOU, YOU DO NOT THINK OF THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WORK AND MAKE CONTRIBUTIONS SO YOU CAN COLLECT YOUR CHECK EACH MONTH.

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

Birdie is Big Bad Brad ............ Have you not figured that out yet??????

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baldbeardedbahamian 2 years ago

YOU SURE, SR12? I ASK COS ROBERTS DID ONCE HAVE A SORT OF REAL JOB AT BURNS HOUSE IN THE 80'S WHILE BIRDBRAIN REALLY COMES OVER AS SOMEONE WITH ZERO REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE EXCEPT PLAYING GOLF.

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BahamaPundit 2 years ago

The Bahamas is at war with debt. That is our enemy. Any government that borrows 700 million from day one isn't a serious soldier and cannot be trusted with defeating the enemy of debt. Borrowing is not a weapon; it is a weakness.

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

Well ............ HOW will you solve the present deficit and national debt crisis???? ............. Speak up, don't complain like many others

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ThisIsOurs 2 years ago

There have been many voices who've advocated that the government should have passed an interim short term budget while it got a handle on our situation. Im concerned that KP and the planners didn't have this as a strategy BEFORE coming into power seeing how close election was to June. The absence of any kind of well thought out strategy is really really worrying me. I don't think KP is up to this post. My first suggestion to reducing the deficit? Remove KP as finance minister . let him function as Dr Minnis' Deputy "Overseer". Get someone with the knowledge and intellect of a "Gowon Bowe" in that post. And do it quickly, we have six months at most.

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Publius 2 years ago

They were certainly aware of the option to pass an interim budget. The option was not taken, I suppose because they figured it would be easy enough to simply blame the former government for every decision they are to make.

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licks2 2 years ago

Where in our law is there provision for an interim budget? Talking without knowledge is a serious thing. . .that budget was ready even before they got elected. . .now if you want it to be different in the future. . .change the law. . .but stop talking foolishness without the benefit of knowledge!

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licks2 2 years ago

And what about Bran losing two election. . ."no-seater". . .yet he remains as leader of the DNA. . .and why are you not re-building the DNA party? We can see that you are "naturally oppose" to anything done by this government. . .DNA, LBT, OR SOME OTHER "SOURPUSS" WHO EEN GOT WHAT THEY WANTED FROM THE RED PARTY. Ya een PLP cos all they doing now is pleading for the exposure to stop. . .

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BahamaPundit 2 years ago

Good point. Put a financial genius in that role. Enough with playing games and being nice.

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sheeprunner12 2 years ago

The FNM wasted a good opportunity to revert to a calendar year Budget format that is more in keeping with our traditional audit cycle ................. And they would have had a respite to audit the public finances using the AudGen Office ............ But they passed on it to continue the blame game

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licks2 2 years ago

runner don't get caught up in that pig pie trend. . .our budget process in governed by law. . .public servants put it together. . .June it is in the HOA. . .our budgetary law gives no room for interim budgeting!

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