The following statement was released today (May 22), by One Bermuda Alliance MP Susan Jackson., regarding Government consultancies…

The Premier and Minister of Finance revealed in the House of Assembly on Friday, May 19 just how broken our civil service has become. A list of consultants/contracts, paid for by the taxpayers, included Burt Administration friends, family and Members of Parliament.    

How on earth is the Premier condoning high paying contracts for MPs and their spouses, worth thousands of dollars a month on top of their MP salaries?   

MP Ianthia Wade collecting $5,000 a month from the Office of the Public Guardian, MP Derrick Burgess earning $1,062 per month from the Cost of Living Commission, and the list doesn’t stop there.  

The answer provided in parliament is a financial instruction which allows individual government departments to request approval from the Head of Public Service without any proof of hiring practices like advertising, interviews, or competitive selections from a pool of job applicants.   

Consultancy services both for ad hoc and, in some cases, long term contracts, are an inconvenient truth to meet every government’s needs, but the Premier read out an extraordinarily long list in terms of both the number of consultants and salaries for a population of sixty thousand people.  

Case in point, the recently exposed $29,000 per month salary for consultant Christopher Warner of Cyberdine. A non-Bermudian consultant hired without evidence of competitive hiring for Bermudians or local companies.   

It’s been revealed to me that many consultants are hired in this manner because no professional wants to accept the civil service employment salaries and this is one way the PLP government is circumventing civil service hiring. The civil service posts remain empty and the consultant fills the vacancy at a higher pay.     

It seems this is also how friends, family and MPs are also quietly receiving perks behind the backs of the hard-working citizens.   

The Progressive Labour Party has been consultant happy since 1998. It’s bad practice and needs to stop.