Jagdeo: super salaries not all good value
-cites water sector
Stabroek News
April 3, 2004

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The Guyana government does not get value for money for all the super salaries it pays, according to President Bharrat Jagdeo, who says that he is unhappy with the salaries paid to the expatriate managers running the Guyana Water Inc.

He said that despite the more than US$15,000 they are each being paid monthly they have still not managed to sort out the billing system. The UK Department for International Development is providing assistance to Guyana for the running of the water sector through a management contract.

He explained that the super salaries in this instance are not paid from the Treasury but are conditions of foreign-funded projects such as the Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme (PRSP) for which a project unit had to be set up in the Office of the President and a minimum number of positions filled.

But in defending the super-salaries which President Jagdeo said are not paid to politicians, he said that the same could not be said for the past PNC administration.

He cited the salary that was paid to former Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs to President Desmond Hoyte and Ambassador to the United States, Dr Cedric Grant. However, it was pointed out to the President that Grant was not a politician. The President then accused the Stabroek News reporter of defending the payment because of his occupation before he took up journalism.

One super-salary recipient from whose work the government gets value for money, he said, is a Mr Hogan who works in the Office of the President tracking the implementation of foreign-funded projects in the government's US$400 million portfolio of projects.

He said that for every project fund not disbursed the government has to pay a US$200,000 penalty. He said that Guyana's project disbursement had risen from US$17 million to US$38 million and it is hoped it will move this year to US$60 million.

Stabroek News earlier this week reported that a number of persons were being paid salaries which are non-taxable including Director General of the Guyana Revenue Authority Khurshid Sattaur and Office of the President consultant Dr Coby Frimpong, Privatisation Unit Head, Winston Brassington, Sattaur's deputy, Clement Sealey and Lands and Surveys Commission head, Andrew Bishop.