By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of State Joseph Harmon on Friday evening sought to justify a move by the APNU+AFC government to dismiss over 40 employees from the One Laptop Per Family Program (OLPF) that was implemented under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration.
Media reports indicate that the employees were sent packing by Harmon after a needs assessment was undertaken. According to the Minister of State, it was not wise to have so many persons employed in the project when there no work for them to do.
“I can’t keep all of you because next time around when Jagdeo and them come into the Parliament, they gon question me…what are you doing with 72 persons here…so I had to make the situation right early…I said to many of them, it was nice having you here…there is no work for you to do and I cannot pay you the people’s money to do nothing…so it might be better if you find alternative employment where you can be better utilized,” Harmon told a gathering outside the Stabroek Market square during a People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) public meeting on Friday, July 24.
The Minister had recently visited the OLPF office where he indicated that a charade was put on for him to believe that persons were actually doing work when it was quite the opposite.
“When I went there everybody busy…somebody take out a file and say they working on a file. I asked what year on the file… she said 2013 and then I asked what year it is, she said 2015…it was a poppy show they put on for me.”
He pointed out too that during his visit, some startling discoveries were made, such as a full floor of laptops that could not be used because they were not functioning as a result of one wrong or another.
“When I went to the bottom floor of the building a whole lot of computers….they can’t use…The bulk of those laptop computers were useless and while some of them came as a gift, the bulk of them were paid for by your money.”