Sarabo-Halley defends arbitrary firing of staff

WPA Chairperson Tabitha Sarabo-Halley

Minister of Public Service, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley this morning defended the arbitrary firing of employees at her Ministry, shortly after she assumed office.

“I think that the evidence that was before me suggested that something needed to be done and the investigation would bear whether or not that was rational,” she told reporters during a press conference.

On May 31, 2019, the personnel staff and chief accountant at the Public Service Ministry were dismissed, with no reason given for the termination of their services.

When the news emerged, the government initially denied the reports but Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon later confirmed that the situation indeed occurred.

But he said higher authorities had since intervened and the dismissed staff were eventually sent on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Questioned more on the issue, Minister Sarabo-Halley declined to comment further.

“It’s currently under investigation so I don’t want to say much,” she stated.

President David Granger had set up a Board of Inquiry headed by Human Resources practitioner, Lance Carberry, to probe the arbitrary firing of three employees.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had alluded to the fact that those workers were initially targeted and arbitrarily dismissed after he revealed that the children of a Government Minister received payments amounting to over $20 million in the last two years.

Harmon has since confirmed that the children of Minister Simona Broomes received the large sums of monies, but he said it was for a scholarship.

According to the Opposition Leader, the Public Service Minister rushed to fire all the staff in the department that had access to this information since the Government believes that those fired workers had sent information to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).