The Grenada Government is taking steps to depoliticise the public service.
The commitment was given by Prime Minister Tillman Thomas as he outlined his government’s decision to establish the Office of the Prime Minister, as separate and distinct from the Prime Minister’s Ministry.
In his contribution supporting the historic one billion dollar 2012 budget, the Prime Minister told Parliament, Government is entitled to re-organise its operations for better performance and more valuable results to the public.
He said the model adopted is based on a similar practice in Canada, a Commonwealth country, whereby persons holding contractual appointments as advisers, personal assistants to Ministers, drivers, security to ministers and public relations officers, who hold office at the pleasure of the government of the day, are identified separately and apart from the normal public service.
Prime Minister Thomas denied unfounded claims by the opposition that the new Office of the Prime Minister will add new positions to the Public Service, thereby incurring additional costs.
“This new arrangement is to protect and preserve the independence of the public service. It does not add to the wage bill. It is a management tool using the existing political appointees” who are expected to leave their positions when the Government demits office, the Grenadian leader declared.
Prime Minister Thomas said the new vote groups existing contractual appointees from the various ministries under one heading, so that their strategic value to the government could be maximised.
This new vote also debunks the idea floated by the opposition that government has increased the wage bill by EC $10M due to political appointees.
It should be noted that all previous governments have had similar appointees, throughout the public service, who received much higher salaries and emoluments that those employed by this administration.
Former Security Advisor to the Prime Minister under the former New National Party Administration (NNP), Fitzroy Bedeau, received US $5000.00, while Mr. Richardson Andrew, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, received US $6000.00, in addition to a number of other benefits including rent free accommodation for the period of the contract, two telephone lines, one lap top and one PC for use of the officer at home and return air passages for himself, his wife and children.