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PM: many names have come up in search for PSC chair

PoliticsPM: many names have come up in search for PSC chair

One such name is Ms. Diana Murillo Price, a public officer of over four decades who has stated that she is more than willing to take up the mantle.

by Khaila Gentle

BELMOPAN, Mon. Oct. 17, 2022

The Government of Belize has yet to find a suitable candidate to take up the positon of the Chairperson of the Public Services Commission—a delay that the Public Service Union (PSU) has publicly, and frequently, decried. On September 22 of this year, we reported that Cresencio Sosa had been nominated for the position of chairman. Last week, however, it was revealed by PSU president Dean Flowers that Sosa had withdrawn from consideration for the post. According to Prime Minister John Briceño, that is because Sosa fell ill shortly before he was set to start his work as the Chairman of the PSC.

Since then, says Prime Minister Briceño, the government has been attempting to find someone that “would meet the criteria and will be able to do a good job.” That includes getting rid of all the backlog that the Public Services Commission is currently faced with.

The Prime Minister noted that many names have come up in the search for a chairperson, but many of those persons, though they were seen as competent, were deemed “too close to the PUP”.

According to Hon. Briceño, the government concluded that it would be best to take time and find a suitable candidate rather than quickly nominating someone “just because.”

One person up for consideration, and likely to take up the position, is Ms. Diana Murillo Price, who has served as a public officer for over four decades now. The Prime Minister said that he recently interviewed Murillo, who is expected to retire from her positon as a public officer in the next few weeks and has expressed willingness to do the job.

On Thursday, the Public Service Union, via press release, endorsed Mr. Alfredo Cruz for the position, with the PSU president highlighting the fact that Cruz is “knowledgeable and experienced in the inner workings of the Commission.”

In speaking with the media on Monday, the Prime Minister confirmed that Cruz’s name had come up in discussions on who could be eligible for the post. He said, however, that for reasons he did not wish to comment on, Cruz was not considered.

The Prime Minister added that while the recommendations made by the PSU are not ignored, the PSU president could do so in a more respectful manner.

In their press release, the PSU also highlighted the fact that the lack of a Public Services Commission Chairperson has led to numerous delays and inconveniences for public officers, especially those who are retired and have had to contend with delays in their retirement benefits.

“As soon as Ms. Murillo takes that position, trust me, we will ensure that we can get that done as quickly as we possibly can, but we want to make sure that we find the right person,” said the Prime Minister.

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