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Governor writes, is it a reminder or a threat?

- Letter sent to public officers about confidentiality of Government information, advises of disciplinary actions for violators!
Governor Boyd McCleary wrote to public officers about confidentiality of government information. Some civil servants have blasted him and asked where was he when civil servants were being victimized, sent on leave, fired and transferred against their will!
The infamous leak under the VIP government of the confidential letter from the FCO on Biwater. A Permanent Secretary was prematurely retired over the leak letter, however, when the NDP returned to power she was immediately returned to office.
The infamous leak under the VIP government of the confidential letter from the FCO on Biwater. A Permanent Secretary was prematurely retired over the leak letter, however, when the NDP returned to power she was immediately returned to office.
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The Head of the Virgin Islands (VI) civil service United Kingdom’s appointed Governor Boyd McCleary has written a letter dated February 28, 2012 entitled; “Confidentiality in the Public Service” to all public officers reminding them about keeping government information confidential.

The circular warned that particular care should be taken with the following categories of documents: those marked ‘secret’, ‘confidential’, ‘restricted’ or ‘in confidence’. The letter went on to outline other confidential information such as Cabinet papers, which he claims are for Cabinet members only.

The strongly worded letter, according to Virgin Islands News Online sources within the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration, was also discussed and requested in Cabinet, as members are concerned about continued leaks to the media of government information that some described as “confidential”.

The letter from the Governor lectures Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments and told them they “have a responsibility to ensure that there are proper arrangements in place for handling government information”.

The circular also imposed a deadline for all staff who has not take an Oath/Affirmation of secrecy, to take it and that it must be submitted by March 31, 2012.

Is it a threat? Civil Servants react

Also contained in the two-page letter from the British Governor is a warning that: “Any public officer who is found to have committed a breach of confidentiality will be liable to disciplinary action.”

Some civil servants who spoke to this news site on condition of anonymity said, “while we appreciate the Governor’s timely memo it’s almost like he is accusing civil servants of leaks…he should know that civil servants do not sit in cabinet…and the line about discipline can be interpreted by some as a threat.”

Another civil servant, who is a senior officer said in a telephone interview: “Where was the Governor when civil servants were being victimized, sent home, terminated, transferred and treated like dogs? I find his memo to be hypocritical as he seems not to be there for us when we needed him…I have lost faith in the service and cannot wait to retire”.

Acting President of the Virgin Islands Civil Service Association (CSA) Steve McMaster, the body charged with representing civil servants and their interest against unfair treatment in the service, said he had no comments at this time on the Governor’s letter. Mr. McMaster is a candidate for the Presidency of the CSA in the upcoming elections.

Leaks of government information

Everyone in the Virgin Islands can agree that leaks are nothing new, as the former Virgin Islands Party Government of Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal OBE, (2007-2011) saw almost daily leaks of information on Online News sites, talk shows and on radio news.

Since the NDP took office in November of 2011, Online News sites and other media houses have been breaking stories about different aspect of decisions made by the Orlando Smith Administration.

One Online News site for example, broke a story that Guy Malone had been tipped to be the new Chief Executive Officer of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, however, no official announcement has been made by Government. The same Online News site which is Virgin Islands News Online’s main competitor also carried a breaking news story that Vance Lewis, a former General Manager of Cable and Wireless, now LIME, was expected to be contracted as a consultant to the Ministry of Communications and Works.

To date, no announcement has been made by the Minister on this news report.

Very recently, both BVI Platinum News and this news site broke the news of the newly designated Chairman of the Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee Marvin Blyden before any official announcement was made by Government.

These and many other leaks have upset the NDP Administration and they have also asked the Governor to investigate these leaks.

John E. Leonard, the General and Marketing Manager of Virgin Islands News Online told this news site last month that, “leaks in government are nothing new, however, I do not subscribe to the word “leaks” as it is just investigative reporting, the media doing its job!…each media house has their sources and it’s the nature of the business…it happens with major news services all over the world”.

Leonard said, “I can speak with confidence for Virgin Islands News Online; we will maintain our well established reputation of being accurate, fair, balance and objective while bringing our readers the news they may not always obtain from our elected government in a timely manner.” He said he will end with two words: “transparency” and “good governance”.

20 Responses to “Governor writes, is it a reminder or a threat?”

  • zeeeeeeeeeeeee (05/03/2012, 09:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    i have no faith in the he fair?
  • former civil servant (05/03/2012, 09:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is clear already whose side both the governor and the dg is on so public officers suck salt!
  • ooooo (05/03/2012, 10:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    them nearly kill vip with leaks e.g. letter from london and biwater to name a few
    • talk girl talk (05/03/2012, 23:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      you could say that again..the talk show host had a field day with daily leaks from very senior civil servants.
  • censor (05/03/2012, 10:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ha ha vino I see why aunty inez is obsess wid closing ayo down because ayo does be in dem skin about injustice!!!! But let dem touch ayo dem will see ah joke lol
  • Shape up or ship out (05/03/2012, 11:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just do your job like youa re suposed to any it will have no effect on you. If you are not supposed to blab your mouth then dont, if you want a job where you can run your mouth become a DJ>
  • insider (05/03/2012, 12:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The ndp came to power based on leaks so let dem and the governor scatter dem bias one sided backside! Where was the governor when every week there was a leak when the vip was in power? Set of one sided people what good for the goose good for the gander
  • Crank Shaft (05/03/2012, 13:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What victimisation the Governor sat back and watch? Name ONE civil servant that was sent home since NDP took office. George contract was up, Otto contract was up and he has health issues. So, tell me who was sent home or mistreated. NAME ONE!! Ya'll lie so much you don't know whether you're coming or going...LOL~ A threat? The Governor is in charge of the service! If a police officer tells you "Boss, if you park there, you will get a ticket!" That's not a threat, it's upholding the laws. THe Governor can't discipline a civil servant unless there's provision on the relevant laws to authorize it. Threat? LOL! This is BVIslanders problem, we hate rules even when to our own benefit. How can that be a threat? If you leak information and you're found out, you're sent home. You're warned in advance so act accordingly.
    • need work (05/03/2012, 17:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      crank shaft stop hiding your head in the sand you fool..we all exprience what they did since they took office
  • Fair Reporting (05/03/2012, 13:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I work in the private sector. In an area where confidentiality is key. And they remind us from time to time that a breach of confidentiality will result in disciplinary action. They are stating the facts....sso grow up people. So small minded! Are you kidding me? This is standard period! Has nothing to do with sides and every thing to do with the governor doing job! Elections is over! Move onnn
  • jack (05/03/2012, 14:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Vino you mean you all leak the governor letter to public officers? What ah ting to tell the king
  • hide and seek (05/03/2012, 14:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    But what the hick the ndp got to hide keep doing your job media
  • tell the truth (05/03/2012, 17:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope Dr. Smith writes a letter to his elected members also about leaks!
  • CNN eye reporter (05/03/2012, 17:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Vino you sure that letter came from and was written by the governor? It might have come from the FCO telling the NDP they cannot touch biwater…now leak that.
  • civil servant (05/03/2012, 23:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    i cannot remember for the last four years of the VIP when leaks were rampant, ever seeing a letter like this...part of the whole one sided set of unprofessional people where everything depends on who is sitting where! we can never move forward on that basis.
  • not justice (06/03/2012, 11:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • ReX FeRal (06/03/2012, 14:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No justice- leave fast speeding like a jet.
  • Sorry I vote (06/03/2012, 17:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP is a WASTE OF TIME,I'M SORRY THAT I EVER VOTED FOR THEM.AS for dat Governor he needs to get out of this place, he is a disgrace....A BIG ONE TOO.

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