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Browne to take up short-term assignment in PM’s office

Browne to take up short-term assignment in PM’s office


With his research on pension reform complete, economist Luke Browne is now set to take up an assignment in the office of the Prime Minister.{{more}}

Prime Minster Dr Ralph Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that Browne is to be employed on the scale of an administrative cadet, working on several projects in his office.

“I have a whole heap of things for him to do for me,” Gonsalves said in a brief telephone interview.

“I need some technical help with some things; I suspect that the work here would be of a short-term nature.”

Gonsalves said that Browne, who was previously assigned to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, conducting research on pension reform, will soon be appointed by the Public Service Commission.

The Prime Minister stressed that Browne’s new move has nothing to do with him (Browne) publishing in a local newspaper, in January this year, a letter about the financial health of the Building and Loan Association.

Following the publication of Browne’s letter, there was a run on the building society, and on February 1, management and control of the organization was taken over by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

“There is nothing sinister about it. I’ve been on top of it,” Gonsalves said.

“I know people will think that I would have some displeasure because of the Building and Loan, but it has absolutely nothing to do with that.”

Browne, speaking to SEARCHLIGHT, said he is looking forward to his next appointment, while keeping his finger on the country’s political pulse.

“The project is complete… I was given a one-year assignment in relation to that… so right now I have a lot of things that I am working on, and I would probably still be doing similar things by way of formal work, but the details are being worked out….

“Outside of that, I have ongoing political and community service work; right now I am doing a couple things relative to Luke’s Kids Club summer programme and follow-up on the lecture series and so on.”

Browne, like the Prime Minister, stressed that his upcoming appointment has nothing to do with his letter about the Building and Loan Association, saying there was no mystery about his move.

The Rhodes Scholar, who unsuccessfully ran in the East Kingstown constituency on a Unity Labour Party ticket in 2010, said that apart from his official job, he looks forward to political action, which he believes is soon to heat up.

Browne was beaten in the 2010 political race by Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace.

“I certainly do look forward to contesting the East Kingstown seat,” Browne said.

“My political work is where I put some emphasis as well; that’s what I enjoy in terms of meeting people and meeting their needs.” (JJ)