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Jan 24, 2019

Minister’s Daughter Wants Full Pay and Allowances while on Study Leave

Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington answered a number of questions today posed by News Five.  First, we asked about the leaked government memorandum which has been causing consternation. Dated the ninth of October 2018, the subject of the memo is a request for advice on a proposed study leave for Paulette Elrington, a contract Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is the daughter of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington.  The memo was sent by the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Public Service, and the Financial Secretary.  Elrington has held the post of Foreign Officer at the Permanent Mission of Belize in New York City since 2008. She is pursuing a certificate in Legal Education at the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica and is requesting consideration for full-time study leave from January 2019 to June 2020.

Paulette Elrington

The memo also states that Elrington is prepared to utilize her vacation leave and time in lieu in order to attend the first semester which was from September to December 2018.  According to the memo, Elrington requested full pay and all the perks that come with her New York post while she is on study leave. Essentially, she is requesting her yearly salary of forty thousand dollars, a housing allowance of nine thousand dollars per month, four hundred dollars for utility per month, one thousand two hundred dollars for furniture allowance per month, four hundred dollars for transport allowance per month and ten thousand dollars for child education allowance per year. The total remuneration package is one-hundred-and ninety-one thousand, seven hundred and twenty-eight dollars. That is the amount that Elrington was requesting to be considered for her study leave. This is flagged because, according to the public service rules, study leave is only afforded to permanent staff and not contract officers who are considered as political appointees. Furthermore, a similar amount would have had to be spent on a new officer to be deployed to the mission. Even so, government only pays eighty percent of eight percent of the salary for those who go on study leave. According to Minister Elrington, he did not know about the request. In fact, he says he would not approve such request.

 

Wilfred Elrington

Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“You will notice that the document shows that she has two masters in law, one bachelors and I think she also has a bachelors in arts. Every one of which was paid for by the Elrington family. Not a cent was spent on her education by the Government and the public of Belize. The same obtains with myself. The same obtains with my wife. Not a single cent was spent in government in our education but we have given all our life in the public service. I walked out of my office. I could have, like other lawyers, stayed there and done very well because I had done well in private practice, exceedingly well. But I left that behind and since then I have been working in the service of the Belizean people. So the desire on the part of my daughter who is working for the service of the Belizean people to go and study to my mind is a commendable thing, nothing for anybody to be ashamed of. For her office to make a submission on her part to government for certain benefits to be given to her cannot be attributed to me or to her. I didn’t even know of it. And my people will tell you that I have never, ever spoken to them about any matter concerning my daughter. In truth and in fact, I never ever get involved in the administrative and financial affairs of my ministry. There is no harm in making submission. It is for the government to determine what is in the government’s best interest and you can rest assure that I won’t get involved. You can also rest assured that whatever the decision of the Government, my daughter will go ahead and finish her education. I don’t see anything culpable on her part or certainly on her part of her father if in fact people in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a submission on her behalf, a submission which the government is free to accept or reject. They will be able to tell you that not once have I ever approached anyone in the government in support of that submission. I did not know of it. Between you and I, I don’t think it is the kind of submission that should properly be approved. I don’t think so. And had I been consulted on  it I would not have put it forward because the kind of submission that was being made is not in my experience with the public, the submission that is made for contract officer. Unless you are in that special category of contract officers where you get special privileges from the Government. As far as I know, no Elrington has ever gotten any special privilege from government. None!”

 

Of note is that Paulette Elrington has also expressed her desire to be converted from a contract Foreign Service Officer to permanent staff.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Minister’s Daughter Wants Full Pay and Allowances while on Study Leave”

  1. roger says:

    having so much studies on separate doctrine only shows she does not know what she wants in life.

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