Grateful for Savings

GOA made it public that in the current 2021 budget, it saved us 11M florin in personnel expenses.

We’re grateful for the savings.

But the budget for personnel of 431M is still substantial.

In December, MEP published an article regarding those savings.

It also reminded us that the previous GOA emptied offices of computers and file cabinets and it took 6 weeks for the new administration to get rolling.

And rolling they did, reducing the number of coordinators from 470 to 183, also limiting the number of advisor and coordinators per minister to 25.

While the former MinPres enjoyed a stable of 147 advisors.

The current more modest MinPres relies on just 21, a saving of 78%.

We like savings.

But a question persists.

Don’t we have a career government apparatus already in place, with department heads and assistant department heads and secretaries, and field operatives?

Do the political appointees bump our career technocrats off their chairs, and out of offices, to sit in the halls and twirl their thumbs, because they were stripped of their jobs?

What do the career technocrats do for four long years, while their chairs are being occupied by cousins or sisters?

It must be demoralizing, to be made obsolete by the minister’s blood relatives.

I questioned MinAsL two-three years ago, about that issue, why he needed a circle of relatives around him while GOA had career employees already in place.

I need people I can trust, he said, and looked at me as if I was dense. It was very obvious to him.

But in my mind it piled insult on injury.

He was in fact saying that GOA’s long time employees could not be trusted and he needed to bring in a team of his own.

Needed or wanted?

You know the answer.

What were they doing in the Social Affairs and Labor Department that required OMERTA — a Southern Italian code of silence and code of honor that places importance on silence in the face of questioning by authorities or outsiders, especially during criminal investigations….

What were they doing that could ONLY be trusted to family members?

The same questions could apply to MinTvS, if you recall the minister recently transferred five of his people from budget A to budget B, they now drive dialysis patients around, instead of hanging in his office.

According to the 2021 budget, it costs each of Aruba’s 120.000 residents Awg 3,591.66 to maintain GOA’s salaries, that’s Awg 299 a month, per person. That’s steep.

I wonder if it takes as much to run a small Dutch town in the Netherlands, or in the USA, with the same number of people.

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March 02, 2021
Rona Coster