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Ministry of Finance’s latest cost-saving measures target contract officers

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Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2020. 6:28 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Finance has announced further cost-saving measures dealing specifically with contract officers as the Government of Belize continues to grapple with the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A memo circulated to all Chief Executive Officers, Heads of Departments and all other accounting Officers, dated September 25, said that there were changes in the terms and conditions of new and renewed contracts. Under the new measures, the Ministry of the Public Service will set salaries or any approved contractual employment based on principles contained in the Public Service Regulations and HR manual. Gratuities will be reduced from 20 percent to 10 percent of base salaries for contract officers.

Officers who previously had 30 working days vacation leave per annum had that leave reduced to 20 days, while those with 20 working days vacation leave had it reduced to 15 days. Sick leave in excess of 16 days will be deducted from vacation leave.

The memo also noted that the six-month freeze on various aspects of administration for the public service, which was enacted earlier this year, will be extended for an additional six months. Those functions that are under the extended freeze include the creation of new posts; filling of any vacant posts; employments or re-employments; payment in lieu of vacation leave; all new requests for advances; approval of any new/periodic allowances; workshops, seminars, or non-essential internal travel; and non-essential purchasing of supplies, software, equipment, etc.

“Cases related to revenue enhancement and essential services will continue to be dealt with on a case by case basis,” the Memo said.

The extended freeze became effective on September 26.

 

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