Grenada’s near one year old government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell has not renewed the contract of senior civil servant Curlan Gilchrist who served as a Consultant on the Value Added Tax (VAT) in the Ministry of Finance.
According to a well-placed source, Gilchrist’s contract expired at the end of December and he was not offered a new one by the cash-strapped administration.
He said that the former civil servant has landed a new job with St. George’s University to lecture on economics on a full-time basis.
Gilchrist played a lead role in helping the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Tillman Thomas implement the controversial 15% VAT which brings in the bulk of revenue for the State.
Although the VAT unit was headed at the time by Ms Pauline Peters, ministry insiders credited Gilchrist as providing the main technical work for the implementation of the new tax.
The non-renewal of his contract has raise eyebrows in certain local quarters.
A retired top civil servant expressed shock at the decision of the Mitchell government to release Gilchrist at a time when it needs as much “sound technical people” in the Ministry of Finance to help with the implementation of the soon-to-be implemented three year Structural Adjustment Progamme (SAP) to tackle the deteriorating fiscal situation facing the country.
“Why the government would choose to let Gilchrist go at this critical time is a mystery to me”, said one official who asked not to be identified.
He identified Gilchrist, a qualified Statistician, as one of the best technical persons employed in the Ministry of Finance in the past five years.