BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Dec. 8, 2016–Amandala has confirmed from official sources that Candelaria Saldivar, 47, former Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry responsible for Immigration, was last week sent a letter notifying her that she is being placed on early retirement, following a decision by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, under whose portfolio the Ministry of the Public Service falls.
We understand that Saldivar, the sister of Defence Minister John Saldivar, is being put on early retirement under the Pensions Act; the reason cited to us is the rearrangement of the Immigration portfolio to achieve efficiency, although our source conceded, when we mentioned it, that Saldivar was not put on administrative leave as the result of the reshuffling of portfolios.
As Amandala readers will recall, it was reported that a high-ranking government official had complained about Saldivar’s “management style,” and her then boss, Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse, had said that Saldivar was moved to preserve harmony.
After 19 months on paid leave, Saldivar, 47, goes on early retirement; minimum estimates indicate that Saldivar was paid around $100,000 as salary, excluding benefits.
At the August sitting of the House of Representatives, Barrow confirmed to Opposition Leader Johnny Briceño that Saldivar continued on paid administrative leave with full benefits—which Briceño said includes her full CEO salary, which was estimated to be $60,000 a year, plus allowances and benefits, including vehicle, entertainment and housing allowances. She had been receiving those benefits since she was put off in May 2015, a period of 19 months. It has not been disclosed how much Saldivar was paid in salary and benefits over the period, although minimum estimates put it at around $100,000 for the period excluding benefits.
Barrow said in August that they were ensuring that Saldivar didn’t lose any benefits by way of her possible re-assignment. He added, though, that, “If there simply is not another public service position that is on the same level that she is prepared to accept, we will discuss with her retirement in the interest of the [public] service.”
Amandala is informed that Saldivar will be paid gratuity along with her pension package, but the approval of the Governor-General is required before the payments are finally settled.
We were told that Saldivar’s departure is to take effect immediately and she can seek employment elsewhere, including a statutory body—but not with the Government.