I did a double take after reading the “concern” expressed by the PPP/C big wigs against the REOs during the most recent PAC hearings. I then had to give a wry smile and shake my head, for if ever there was a classic case of the old saying, ‘When you point a finger at someone there are three pointing back at you,’ then this had to be it.
The REO position has been one of the most criticized public service jobs for it has always been highly politicized and exclusively given to party faithfuls, irrespective of their capability or qualifications. By virtue of this political favourability the REOs have, from time immemorial, operated with a high degree of impunity and irresponsibility when it comes to undertaking their duties. Except for the PPP/C dominated regions, almost every other region has had serious problems trying to control the REOs. Rarely does a week go by when an REO does not make a headline, almost always for the wrong reasons. Very rarely are these REOs ever punished and the common way for the government to deal with any problem is to transfer the REO from one region to the other.
So for Bibi Shadick and Gail Teixeira to now stand up and express “concern” over the actions of the REOs is very disingenuous. Their executive committee must have a cabinet full of complaints against their politically appointed REOs. Yet they have continued to put poorly qualified party faithfuls into this critical financial position. What did they expect from such actions? If they are as genuinely ‘concerned’ as they are professing to be, then they should return to their executive committee and tell them to change the way they select REOs.
Until the whole process of selecting an REO is revamped so that only qualified financial personnel can be selected, then there will continue to be problems with financial management within the regional structure. Certainly within the PPP/C administration there must be adequately qualified persons who can fill the position of REO and who will do a much better job of managing the finances of the region.
(Name and address provided)