There is urgent need for an independent and external investigation to be conducted into the workings, or lack thereof, at the Human Resource Department of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown.
The performance of this department leaves much to be desired; and what makes it even more frustrating is that Councillors, and even the subject minister for this entity, seem to be completely unaware of, or unconcerned with, the torpor of this department.
In fact, they have unwittingly upgraded what was a crappy Personnel Section, a sub-department, into an elaborate Human Resource Department, which is a full-fledged department, costing the citizens millions of dollars more each month.
This means that they have now significantly increased their staff strength within that department by hiring friends, family members and church colleagues once again to a number of new highly paid jobs, whilst upgrading their existing staff members to new positions with fancy titles and super salaries, most of whom hardly do anything productive during the work day.
This has certainly placed enormous and unnecessary pressure on their finances, which is supposed to be in dire straits.
Without wishing to burden this letter with too much tedium, I shall highlight just a few of the scores of blunders continually committed by this department, much to the detriment of the workers.
There is a situation whereby staffers, many of whom have served the Council above and beyond the call of duty for more than thirty years, have to wait for several years more to receive their pensions and gratuities. This is just heartless, as these persons then have to scrounge or depend on their families to survive whilst they await what is due to them. For those persons who functioned on what is termed the unfixed establishment, they, too, have to wait; after which the Personnel Section simply comes up with a figure which they seem to pull out from under their hats, and force these retired workers to accept as pension scheme payments; but which they are never able to show the recipients the mathematics they used to arrive at these figures.
This is just cruel as well, as they are simply taking advantage of employees who may not have the capability to calculate their benefits themselves. And of course they are demanding a fee from these soon-to-be retirees.
Another illustration of the ineptitude of this department, which has the responsibility of deducting statutory payments such as pay-as-you-earn taxes for the Guyana Revenue Authority, insurance contributions for the National Insurance Scheme, credit union dues etc, they unfailingly make these deductions from the Council’s employees, but then take several months to remit these deductions to the relevant agencies, and in some instances, they either do not remit these deductions at all, or do so without the correct identifying number, causing these payments to be placed in escrow, as the agency is unable to identify which is the correct Tom Jones.
The end result of this is that Council employees lose all of their benefits when they become ill. This, I might add, is a criminal offence.
So why is no one being sanctioned by the NIS, or GRA? Had it been a private entity, it would have been hauled before the courts. But, at City Hall, anything goes!