St. Lucia Gov’t to significantly reduce number of permanent secretaries

This move is mainly to cut government spending, as the new administration has already moved to reduce the number of government ministries from 14 to 8.

Chastanet said that the government will not be looking to renew contracts for permanent secretaries who are heading into retirement and they will not be doing any new hiring.

“We are basically saying that we are not going to bring any new permanent secretaries in and we are going to wait for attrition…contracts to come to an end, people to retire…” he asserted.

The prime minister said the full manifestation of the new strategy will not be seen to the public until the next budget and this will also be subject to dialogue with stakeholders.

“Obviously we have to go through a tremendous amount of dialogue with the major partners: the unions, the business community and civil society,” he explained.

Although his government has already been criticised for the new Cabinet configuration, Chastanet has repeatedly stated that the intention is to save as much finances as possible and put it in areas that may need it.

“What we are doing is trying to save money by sharing permanent secretaries and we have sent a message in terms of what we believe the structure of government ought to be,” he had told the media.

Chastanet said his government recognizes that recurrent expenditure is a critical issue and it has been something highlighted for many years by the central bank, but his government wants to change that.

While the number of government ministries has been significantly reduced, the average monthly wage bill for the new government exceeds $160,000, $10,000 more than the previous administration, according to reports.


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