One week after Government denied firing the personnel staff and chief accountant of the Public Service Ministry, Director General of the Ministry of Presidency, Joseph Harmon on Monday confirmed that indeed, the workers were sent home by the newly appointed minister, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley.
The workers were sent packing on May 31 after receiving letters which are void of explanations for the sudden dismissal.
Harmon explained that higher authority has since intervened and rescinded the dismissal. The staff are now on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation which has been launched into the incident.
“In fact, it is known that that Minister did in fact purported have fired these persons. As of now, I think that decision is in abeyance pending an inquiry which will be conducted in a short time to determine whether in fact there were any breaches, grounds for dismissals, but certainly, an enquiry is going to be held into that. They are presently on administrative leave rather than dismissed.”
He maintained that at this point, the staff in question are still employees of the Government as the decision by Minister Sarabo-Halley to terminate their services has been halted.
Following the initial revelation of the matter in the media.
Deputy Director of Press Affairs at the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP), Ariana Gordon told sections of the media that while allegations have been levelled against the public service employees, they were not dismissed.
However, shortly after a document seen by this publication proved otherwise. A “Determination of Contract” letter signed by the Minister in question was addressed to a staff member stating that his services will no longer be required.
Minister Sarabo-Halley has been silent on the issue.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, at his press conference last week alluded to the fact that those workers were initially targeted and arbitrarily dismissed by Minister Sarabo-Halley after he blew the whistle on transactions at the Ministry of the Presidency which he claims saw the children of a Government Minister receiving payments amounting to over $20 million in the last two years.
Jagdeo noted that the staff at the PSM were sent packing shortly after his first disclosure because the Government believed that those workers had leaked information to the Opposition about corrupt actions by the Administration.