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Cyprus

State officials can have driver outside office hours if work related

Children's rights commissioner Leda Koursoumba

More state officials will be allowed a chauffeur for out-of-hours work as per a Cabinet decision, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Thursday.

The decision taken two weeks ago allows all ombudspersons, ministry permanent secretaries, the cabinet’s secretary and director of the president’s office to use their messenger as a driver outside office hours for work-related duties.

The messenger will be paid overtime or be compensated with leave of absence, Prodromou said.

Asked if the chauffeur would also be required to do messenger related work, the spokesman said “possibly.”

Nonetheless, he stipulated “this is not a new decision as such because it was being practiced.”

Though the specific state officials were allowed the perk since 1960, an amendment to the law put an end to it – in theory – in January 2016.

The auditor general engaged in a public row however with law commissioner Leda Koursoumba last month after he called on her to return money to the state that had apparently been paid to her messenger so he could drive her around for personal use.

Using a driver out of hours was commonly practiced, Prodromou said and as such, the Cabinet’s decision essentially now normalises it.

The law stipulates they will not be allowed to take the state vehicle to their residence.

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