The Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, joked at the questions that were addressed to him this morning in Parliament, saying, “I have to leave my post as Prime Minister to become an inquiring officer”. SAJ was responding to a question from MP Bhagwan on political interference in the recruitment of officers to the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA). The PM noted that there is no Recruitment Committee in the GRA, so the question of chair of this committee does not arise. Accordingly, his senior adviser can not be the chair of this committee. The PM said there were eleven vacant Management Support officer positions.
A call for applications was made in the press between 18 March and 27 March 2016 and the deadline for submitting applications was 31st March. The positions were advertised on the Job and Trades Magazine broadcast at the MBC. A total of 2,253 applications were received, 1,421 of which were submitted by qualified individuals, and the top 110 were invited for a panel interview by the GRA Board.
Thirty candidates with the highest marks had been pre-selected and the final decision on recruitment was made by the GRA Board. He reassured the members of the assembly that the exercise was done in a transparent and fair manner.
To a supplementary question from MP Bhagwan concerning a request from this list of shortlisted candidates by his adviser DB for “political clearance”, SAJ said: “I am not aware”. Insisting and adding that the name of the prime minister is often cited, he reiterated that he is not aware. “The way the questions have been asked of me since this morning, I have to leave my position as prime minister to become an investigator.” Rajesh Bhagwan urged Speaker Maya Hanoomanjee to say: “He is the Prime Minister and his name is used by his DB counselor on the board of directors and even elsewhere”. SAJ answers again: « I am not aware about it. I need evidence. So far nobody has come to me to complain about it ».
Responding to another question concerning the number of vacancies in the Information Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) of the same Member, the PM indicated that there were five vacancies, two of which were promotional in nature. Again, the question of political interference was raised. MP Bhagwan has alleged that the chairman of the board of directors of this body handles it as if it were his property and that he used the name of the prime minister on every occasion to make his law. To this the Prime Minister indicated that he was aware.
« I have been made aware of it and steps are being taken ».