As far as the misuse of government assets for private projects, Minister Espat says that there has been sufficient evidence to confirm what was the thinking all along. Espat also says that many of the jobs within the Ministry of Works were given to relatives and friends of the previous minister.
Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development
“We are more than a hundred percent convinced with the evidence that we’ve obtained, inclusive of equipment that we had to forcibly bring back and testimony from employees of the Ministry of Works that were willing to put it on paper and witnessed by the Attorney General’s Employees and Justices of the Peace.”
“In your ministry, perhaps much like what other complaints are from across government, are there previous appointees of the U.D.P. government who are still there based on contracts who, perhaps, are also hesitant or reluctant to demit office?”
“There’s a lot. In our ministry, the ex-minister’s family are all over the place, from secretaries to accountants to supervisors. In the other ministry that we inherited which is housing, we have loads of people that have never turned up to work and we’re also dealing with that situation. We can’t continue on that basis. And we just got a letter from one of the heads of department that basically outlined to us the people that were there receiving salaries without ever showing up for work, for years and years. So those are the easy ones that you can deal with. We have approximately three hundred and twenty employees at the Ministry of Works, I’m not even including the Ministry of Housing. Of those, two hundred and seventeen are open vote. Of those two hundred and seventeen, there’s a large amount that never showed up to work or come to work and do absolutely nothing. These are not public servants and so we are not even addressing the public servants at all. We will respect that. They are within the system and that is how I believe we should continue, respecting the public service.”