Govt will not reveal cost of keeping Archives director on administrative leave
Bermuda Archives director Karla Hayward is still on the public payroll after more than five months on administrative leave.
But Government Estates Minister Michael Scott and his permanent secretary Robert Horton are refusing to say whether she remains on full pay or if she will return to her job at the official repository of government records.
Ms Hayward told
The Royal Gazette yesterday: “I’m still at the Archives and still on leave at the moment. I’d be delighted to talk to you once this is all settled. All I can say right now is that I would refer you to the Ministry.”
She would not reveal if she was still getting her full salary, which is believed to be in the region of $120,000 a year.
The Ministry of Government Estates and Information Services stonewalled questions about the director’s position this week.
This newspaper asked for an update on Monday but was told by a Ministry spokesman: “It is standard protocol for the Civil Service not to comment on the employment status of employees, so I am not sure how much can be said at this point until the status of Ms Hayward has been resolved.”
We then asked if Ms Hayward, a civil servant for more than 35 years, was still receiving a salary from the public purse and, if so, whether the Ministry wished to advise taxpayers what she was doing to earn the salary.
Permanent secretary (PS) Robert Horton responded: “The Government of Bermuda does not comment upon internal administrative matters pertaining to employees.”
We asked Mr Horton to confirm the director’s salary or Civil Service pay grade but got no answer.
Questions to the Minister about why Government wouldn’t discuss how taxpayer funds were being spent, who was doing Ms Hayward’s job while she was absent, how much they were being paid and whether this was putting a strain on the Ministry’s budget, were ignored.
The Archives is allocated $1.6 million in the Government’s Budget for 2012/13, with almost $1 million going on salaries for its 12 employees.
The amount budgeted for salaries is $188,000 or 23 percent more than in 2011/12, though the number of employees is expected to be the same.
Yesterday, the Ministry was offered the opportunity again to shed light on the situation at the Archives.
The spokesman said: “The Ministry will not be making any comment other than the response I sent to you on Monday.”
Archives Advisory Committee chairman Chief Justice Richard Ground said he could not comment on the question of Ms Hayward’s salary.
“Personnel matters are not within the remit of the AAC, which is merely an advisory body on archives in general and ‘those aspects of the work of the Bermuda Archives which affect members of the public who make use of the facilities’. You should address your question to the relevant PS.”
A call to the Archives confirmed that Joanne Brangman, director of Bermuda National Library, is doing Ms Hayward’s job as well as her own.
Archives staff threatened to strike in September unless Ms Hayward was removed from her post, after a series of complaints about her management style. The industrial action was averted when she was placed on leave.
A source, who asked not to be named, told this newspaper that Mr Horton visited Archives staff on Friday and informed them he had yet to make a decision on Ms Hayward’s future.
The director’s tenure at the Archives has been controversial, with complaints from users leading to an inquiry by Ombudsman Arlene Brock in 2008.
Ms Brock found evidence of maladministration and recommended Ms Hayward be moved to a less front line role. Ms Hayward has always and emphatically denied any allegations of wrongdoing.
Bermuda Public Services Union general secretary Edward Ball could not be reached for comment yesterday.
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