Former COLA President and grassroots activist Giovanni Bracket is tonight facing public criticism after it was revealed that he signed a contract with the government for consultation services. As we reported last night, a leaked memo from Financial Secretary Joe Waight to Cabinet Secretary Stuart Leslie brought to light that Brackett was hired as an Information Consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister. In the memo, it stated that Brackett’s two-year contract was for a fixed salary of $42,000 per year with a 10% gratuity at the end of the contract period plus a telephone allowance at the rate of $125 monthly. Undoubtedly, his employment has ruffled many feathers due to the fact that Brackett went from a critic to a consultant earning a sustainable salary. Today, our newsroom asked Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa, if the man he considers a friend has always been a stalwart supporter of the PUP.
Kareem Musa, MInister of Home Affairs: “Let me first say that like you I learnt of Giovanni’s hiring when I saw the release, when I saw it posted somewhere on social media. I wasn’t aware that he was employed by the Government Press Office. I do know that Giovannie is a media personality. I think he has worked for Plus TV, for Channel 7 so he is very media savvy so to speak and so I don’t see why it is that he cannot be hired in a position over at the Government Press Office. I’m sure he has the qualifications for that. In terms of his advocacy I think he was the president of COLA but resigned several years ago but in this advocacy he was critical not just of the UDP but of the PUP when.”
Reporter: But now he can’t be because he’s a part .
Kareem Musa, MInister of Home Affairs: “Well now he’s not. As I understand it he resigned from COLA many years ago, like two or three years ago even before COVID and so he doesn’t have that responsibility of COLA and so he’s a free agent. A media free agent I guess and the government hired him. I don’t know the terms of reference for Mr.Brackett’s contract and so like I said like you I was informed that he was hired by the Government Press Office.”
Reporter: Were you shocked ?
Kareem Musa, MInister of Home Affairs: “I’m not going to use the word shocked. Like I said he’s a very media savvy personality and so he got the job but I don’t know what type of work if it requires a lot of hours of work I don’t know what that involves so you would have to ask Mr.Bracket or ask somebody at the Government Press Office to fill you in as to what his scope of work is.”
Brackett told Love News that a couple years ago he faced the loss of family and friends and therefore decided to take a different path, resigning from the post of COLA president. He says he spent most of the time away from the country and upon his return he was approached by the Briceno administration to work with them-an offer he accepted. Bracket says that he is unable to speak on the contract, citing confidentiality clauses./