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Paulette Elrington is not an “ordinary” contract officer

HeadlinePaulette Elrington is not an “ordinary” contract officer

She is a daughter of Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 17, 2019– The Government of Belize spends millions of taxpayers’ dollars each year on a number of contract officers employed in all sectors of the public service. Many of these contract officers get all kinds of perks and allowances that the permanent establishment staff can only dream about.

One such contract officer is Paulette Elrington.

In 2008, Paulette Elrington, a daughter of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, signed on as a contract officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the post of Foreign Officer.

Elrington, according to the copy of a government memorandum Amandala obtained, was last posted at the Permanent Mission of Belize to the United Nations, in New York City.

The subject of the October 9, 2018, memorandum is: “Request for advice on proposed study leave – Ms. Paulette Elrington, Foreign Service Officer (contract) –Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

The memorandum is from the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is addressed to Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of the Public Service, and the Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance.

The gist of the memorandum is that Elrington had applied for study leave with full salary to pursue a Certificate in Legal Education (CLE) at the University of the West Indies.

Elrington holds an LLB degree from the University of Guyana (2003), an LLM from the University of Miami (2006) and a Master’s of Law in Legislative Drafting (no date provided).

As a Foreign Officer, Elrington earns a total of $191,728 per annum with all perks, which includes housing allowance —US$4,700 per month; utilities — US$200 per month; furniture allowance — US $625 per month; transport allowance — US $200 per month; child education allowance — US$5,000 per annum.

The memorandum also states that Elrington intends to convert her status from contract officer to a status that is classified as “permanent establishment staff”.

“Please note that the Head of Mission is inclined to support Ms. Elrington‘s request, but would require an immediate replacement that would cost the government of Belize approximately the equivalent of her remuneration package, since she would be replaced by a seasoned officer.

“While on posting at the Permanent Mission of Belize in New York, she is in receipt of salary and posting allowances for which she requests that the consideration be granted to her to continue to receive for the duration of her studies,” the memorandum noted.

The duration of the study leave is from January 2019 to June 30, 2020. However, the memorandum states that Elrington was prepared to use her vacation leave in order to attend the course from September 2018 to December 2018.

Noteworthy is the fact that the memorandum is dated October 9, 2018, and is signed by Yvette K. Gentle for the Chief Executive Officer in the ministry.

Study leave with pay is usually reserved for permanent establishment staff, according to the public service rules. Paulette Elrington, therefore, is not an ordinary contract officer.

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