By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell says Public Services Minister Brensil Rolle has not told the whole truth about the government’s rehiring processes.
Last week, Mr Rolle told The Tribune the government has rehired a “large number” of people who were engaged from 2012 to 2017 and then fired by the Minnis administration.
A Labour Force survey by the Department of Statistics estimated that 2,500 people had been fired by the Minnis administration up to November 2017. Mr Rolle has not said how many have been re-engaged. His admission was a surprising turnabout for an administration that came into office lambasting the hiring practices of the Christie administration while vowing to right-size the civil service. In 2017, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis implemented a hiring freeze on the government, one that was never officially lifted.
Last week, Mr Mitchell called the administration “hypocritical”. In a new statement yesterday, he said: “Following upon the statement of the party on the weekend about the hypocrisy of the FNM public service minister’s statement about the rehiring of those disengaged who worked on contract, the PLP has been flooded with reports that the FNM minister has not been frank with the Bahamian people about the government’s rehiring practices.”
He alleged: “The reports which come to us indicate that there has been a general purging of the public service through this process, in that, all people on contract were let go, and the practice is now to re-engage only those that have been recommended by various FNM generals in constitutions in New Providence and throughout the Family Islands.
“Administrators in the islands are being instructed to check the names of the rehires with various generals before the rehiring process takes place.
“This will not only hurt and undermine the public service, it is corrupt... We again point out that the FNM government is rank with the discrimination which it practices against Bahamians who they suspect support the PLP. They ought to be careful before there is not a revolt for deliberately taking bread out of the mouths of Bahamian citizens for their political beliefs.”
Attempts to reach Mr Rolle for comment on Mr Mitchell’s allegations were unsuccessful up to press time.