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Daniel calls on NDP to condemn all acts of sabotage in public service

Daniel calls on NDP to condemn all acts of sabotage in public service

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Minister of Agriculture Montgomery Daniel is calling on members of the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) to condemn all acts of sabotage by civil servants.{{more}}

Last Thursday, Daniel, in his response to a question asked in Parliament by Roland Matthews, Area Representative for North Leeward, questioned whether there was an organized plot by an individual or any organization or political party to frustrate the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture.

He based his question on the fact that the Unity Labour Party was favoured heavily in the farming communities.

“So, I ask again is it that what was done was to frustrate the farmers?” Daniel questioned.

He explained that an application was supposed to have been submitted to the Ministry of Finance back in April this year for funding to purchase the appropriate materials to facilitate the aerial cycles.

Daniel further stated that it was not until after subsequent inquiries to his Permanent Secretary and the Director General of Finance and Planning that it was discovered that the paperwork had not been submitted, but was found in the desk of a senior officer within the ministry.

The paperwork was then submitted and at the end of July, the order for the appropriate materials made.

Once the order was put in, and with the long delay to obtain the funds, Daniel said that this would have caused a delay in the spraying process.

He said that he called his Permanent Secretary to ensure that everything else was in place, so that when the materials arrived, they would begin spraying immediately.

However, to his dismay, the PS indicated that the aircraft had not been certified and that it would not have been able to fly.

The bill to get the aircraft certified, according to Daniel, was EC$12,000, and had been sent since November 2010, but was not seen until it was retrieved from the same senior officer’s desk.

Daniel then called on members of the opposition to join with him to condemn such acts by civil servants.

He also asked the Public Service Commission to deal with such civil servants accordingly.

Meanwhile Daniel said that his ministry was maintaining its policy of supporting the banana industry. He said that the ministry was currently compiling information in order that farmers are compensated for their losses.

Daniel also said that the ministry will be destroying abandoned fields to ensure levels of control.

He added that the Ministry had also ensured that the requisite materials are on the ground to ensure frequent spraying.

Going forward, Daniel noted that certain checks and balances had been implemented to ensure that such actions by civil servants are avoided. (DD)

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