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GSD hits out at Picardo over transparency

The GSD last night accused the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo of “plummeting to new depths in terms of a lack of transparency”, insisting he had refused to provide “full and frank answers” to questions in Parliament on the number of vacancies across the public service.
In a statement, the GSD flagged how during the last session of Parliament and in answer to a question from the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham, Mr Picardo said there were 135 vacancies in the civil service as at the end of November 2016.
But, the GSD said, those figures did not include vacancies within Government-owned companies, agencies and authorities such as the GHA, adding that the Chief Minister “refused to provide them”.
“It is in contrast with the answer provided to the same question in writing in October 2016, when the Government said there were 177.5 vacancies,” the Opposition’s statement read.
This was broken down in 101 vacancies in Government departments and 76.5 in Government owned companies, agencies and authorities.
The GSD therefore hit out at the “lack of transparency and basic accountability” and said it makes it very difficult for the Opposition to scrutinize Government policy, particularly the way in which the Government intends to introduce public efficiencies.
“That is probably the intention behind the partial provision of information and it follows lack of answers or misleading answers on a wide range of issues, including the way the Government is spending the people's money.”
“There is no point the Chief Minister bleating on about the number of meetings of parliament when he consistently behaves in this way,” the GSD added.

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