Some Lawmakers Express Dismay Over Controversial Bridge International Nearing Getting Budgetary Support

Information gathered has it within the corridors of the Legislature that the controversial Bridge International is for the first time about to get a huge allotment in the next National Budget. But observers especially some lawmakers see this as a slap in the face of the government of Liberia given the numerous controversies Bridge International has been faced with over the years.

Highly placed sources on Capitol Hill say the global head of Bridge International Dr. Shannon May is in the country and has been working tirelessly to ensure that Liberian lawmakers strike a deal with a nongovernment organization that has been receiving funds from foreign donors in millions to support education in Liberia.         

The move comes in the midst of ongoing plans by the Liberian government to institute lawsuit against the management of Bridge International for its failure to respond to the Labor Ministry, which has been having on its desk several other cases ranging from bad labor to illegal dismissal and witch hunt, amongst others.

Bridge International now New Globe is a company outsourced under former Education Minister George Werner to run Liberia’s educational program with the goal of  taking it from mess to best. Yet, educational observers say the system remains the same despite millions the company gets every school year from international donors.

Shockingly, the very Liberian legislators have been summoning the management of Birdge International over these allegations but without fruition.

Thorough investigation into alleged wrongful dismissals by Bridge International have been amounted to grave  bad labor practices and many others, for which the Ministry of Labor instructed Bridge International Academies to pay one of its employees wrongfully dismissed with an amount of US$40,000.

According to the Deputy Labor Minister for Manpower Development, Hannah McCaulley, the company hacked into the staff account, inserted information to implicate falsely before doing a kangaroo investigation to have the staff dismissed.

The Labor Ministry saw the action of the management of Bridge International as a complete witch hunt, for which the staff must be duly paid according to Chapter 14.10 of the Decent Work Act of 2015.

In a ruling addressed to Gbovadeh Gbilia, the current Country Director of Bridge and former Deputy Education Minister for Planning, Research and Development, Bridge International was ordered that the staff should be reinstated immediately or be paid 24 months of salaries for the wrongful action meted out against him.

It can be recalled that the former Country Director, Griffin Asigo, who carried out the wrongful action, has since been removed from the Liberian workforce on the order of Education Minister D. Ansu Sonii.

The ruling, a copy that has been obtained by this medium, states, “The assertion by HR Alimata Johnson that Bridge emails are ownership of the company and can be accessed at any time by the company without having to share the name of the particular person who assessed them, such statement suggests a clear admission to tampering with the employee’s account.”

It said: “Throughout the proceedings, management failed to show or indicate what part of the email in question that they considered as classified information to demonstrate the effect and extent to which such information must be protected because of its sensitivity to the agency or individual which is not already in the public domain.”

The ruling also states: “As such, we are not convinced of the classified nature of the email in question.”

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