Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Opposition says list of 40 gov't consultants incomplete

Published:Thursday | May 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMBrian Walker/Staff Reporter

Members of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) yesterday rejected as incomplete a list of 40 consultants and advisers attached to ministers, which was submitted by the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.

Opposition members high-lighted inconsistencies between the list and data provided to Senator Lambert Brown earlier this month. Dr Wykeham McNeill, PAAC chairman, pointed out that Garfield Higgins and Delano Seiveright, who have been publicly identified as advisers to the minister of education, youth and information, and the minister of tourism, respectively, were not included.

Darlene Morrison, acting financial secretary, revealed that Seiveright was not contracted to the Ministry of Tourism.

"With respect to Mr Seiveright, we are aware that there are publications indicating him as an adviser to the minister (of tourism). I was advised by the Ministry of Tourism that he is engaged to the Tourism Enhancement Fund as a communications specialist, not as adviser to the minister," Morrison told the committee,

The Gleaner contacted the tourism ministry for an explanation regarding Seiveright's engage-ment with the minister, but the ministry only responded by indicating that Seiveright was off the island.

 

CONCERNED ABOUT MATTER

 

McNeill said that he was concerned about the matter and that the finance ministry needed to provide a thorough list of consultants across all ministries, departments, and agencies.

"The difficulty I have with it is that there is a band within which they are paid," argued McNeill. "Now, if what we are seeing is that people are consultant-advisers but because there is a need to pay them more, they are being hired through the agencies, that does an injustice to all the systems that are being put in place by the Parliament," he said.

brian.walker@gleanerjm.com