Contract workers cost state millions in salaries, allowances

The issue of contracted employees has been a sore one for successive Governments. When in Opposition, the now coalition Government had been heavily critical of the presence of these classes of workers, and had promised to cut out the practice of having contracted employees.
Following requests from the Parliamentary Opposition in the National Assembly, Government provide details about contracted employees. The documents submitted to the National Assembly, and seen by Guyana Times, shows that the practice of keeping contract workers is in force, with this classification of workers costing the state hefty sums for their services.
Within the Ministry of the Presidency itself, contracted cleaners account for a net salary of over $206,000 per month; inclusive of gratuity and vacation allowance. A typist clerk is paid over $170,000 per month, inclusive of these benefits as well, while a contracted driver makes a total of $219,000.
In the case of administrative assistants, their net salary range is $492,000; while an administrative officer makes $551,000 and the administrative manager makes almost $1.5 million, inclusive of gratuity and vacation allowance.
The two highest paid contracted staff within the Ministry are Senior Executive Director of the Public Service College, Retired Colonel Lawrence Paul ($1.9 million); and Director of Training, Calvin Benn ($1.8 million), the documents submitted highlighted.
Contract workers
Last year, chartered accounting firm Ram and McRae pointed out that too much strain was being placed on the public coffers with the employment of contracted workers. It made the significant finding following the delivery of this year’s National Budget.
The firm had noted the Ministry of the Presidency’s increase in contract employees from 298 in 2015 to 505 in 2016, as well as an increase in the cost of wages and salaries for contract employees from $142 million to $798 million.
In the case of the Office of the Prime Minister, it had noted that the cost of wages and salaries for contracted employees rose from $21 million to $82 million.
It also addressed the Public Infrastructure Ministry, which saw an increase from $9 million to $51 million in a particular programme, and from $182 million to $533 million under its Public Works Programme.