FINANCE Imbert Colm Imbert said the university graduate programme was "stuck" and no money had been expended on it.
He was speaking yesterday as the Standing Finance Committee looked at the estimates for the Finance Ministry.
Princes Town MP Barry Padarath asked about the university graduate recruitment programme, and recalled when it was announced a few budgets ago, there was a lot of fanfare but the numbers reflected that from 2018 to the present there has been no expenditure.
"Does this mean that no one was ever hired in the Ministry of Finance for this programme, and can you indicate why?"
Imbert said this was correct, and was because there was a view that it should not be restricted to outstanding graduates. He said the policy was geared towards people who had first-class and upper second-class honours.
"But there was a point of view that you should not restrict it to just those high achievers, and it should be for all graduates, which has slowed down the process.
"We are still of the view that you should give preference to high achievers with this programme."
Padarath asked if this policy was across the board in all ministries and Imbert confirmed that it was.
"In fact we got some pushback from the public servants. Yeah, I am telling you as it is. We wanted to employ high achievers, and they felt it should be anybody, even with a pass degree. So it has got a bit stuck, a bit bogged down."
Padarath said: "I find it a bit strange, because I know you push back as well."
Imbert said: "It is one of the things (on which) I kind of gave way."