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Govt silent on cost of its consultants

Government has broken its silence on the appointment of consultants and special advisers.

But it still refuses to say how much the political appointments will cost the taxpayer.

A press release from Cabinet Office last night said that Premier Craig Cannonier has hired a chief of staff and is looking to hire a press secretary and an “executive aide”.

And it revealed that the Cabinet could end up with between five and a maximum of 27 consultants and special advisers under a policy it inherited from the former administration.

“Ministers who wish to engage special advisers and/or consultants must first seek the written consent of the Premier,” a Cabinet spokesperson said in a statement.

“No more than two such persons may be engaged by a Minister. Two requests for special advisers have been received from Ministers.

“The Premier has engaged a Chief of Staff and proposes to engage a Press Secretary and an Executive Aide.”

The information was released almost a week after

The Royal Gazette submitted questions about Government’s intentions to hire consultants.

Cabinet is currently made up of 13 Ministers, including the Premier.

This newspaper understands that Dale Jackson who served as former Premier Ewart Brown’s executive aide will resume that role with Premier Craig Cannonier.

But Mr Cannonier is also hoping to have a deputy to Mr Jackson’s position — reported to be Nicholas Kempe — who was listed on the One Bermuda Alliance website as vice president of Bermuda Forwarders.

The position of press secretary to the Premier could go to Charmaine Burgess, well known as a television anchor for VSB television, and a former marketing executive for Link Bermuda.

The OBA promised during the election campaign to cut down on the use of consultants should it become the Government.

It was harshly criticised by the Opposition Progressive Labour Party when it emerged last week that former PLP public relations officer Corey Butterfield had been appointed a special adviser to the Minister of Tourism Development, Shawn Crockwell.

Government did not respond when asked whether Mr Crockwell had asked permission from the Premier to hire a special adviser.

It is understood that the formalities for Mr Butterfields’ consultancy have yet to be completed.

But Mr Butterfield, whose title is “Special Adviser and Policy Analyst for the Minister of Tourism Development and Transport”, is already working out of the Department of Tourism’s offices.

We also asked how much the Premier’s Chief of Staff, Executive Aide and Press Secretary will cost and which Ministers had asked permission to hire special advisers.

No response was received by press time last night.

Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley told

The Royal Gazette last night that he had no intention of taking on any consultants.

“The staff in the Ministry appear to be in a good position to carry the work forward,” he said adding that he was excited to be working with his Permanent Secretary with whom he has already built a strong working relationship.

“If there’s any change in that approach, I’ll certainly be open and accountable to everybody,” Mr Dunkley continued.

“But it’s not even on my radar right now. I’m certainly stuck in — I’m reading briefs that have been given to me, tomorrow we go to the prisons, I feel very comfortable with the PS and the staff and we’ve got a great relationship.”

Cabinet Office

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Published January 16, 2013 at 8:55 am (Updated January 16, 2013 at 8:55 am)

Govt silent on cost of its consultants

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