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Governor’s rejection of PSC recommendation on PS an insult to VI- Premier Fahie

- said Governor’s agenda not in the best interest of VI
Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right, has publicly expressed his displeasure with Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, left, rejecting the recommendation of the Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding the appointments of Permanent Secretaries and making the appointments on his own. Photo: VINO/File
 New Permanent Secretary appointments include Mr Kedrick E. Malone, centre, who has been hired on a contractual basis at the Premier’s Office for a period of six months; and Mrs Sharleen S. Dabreo-Lettsome MBE, right, who will be the acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Deputy Governor. Mrs Carolyn E. Stoutt-Igwe has been transferred from the Office of the Deputy Governor to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture. Photo: GIS/VINO/File
New Permanent Secretary appointments include Mr Kedrick E. Malone, centre, who has been hired on a contractual basis at the Premier’s Office for a period of six months; and Mrs Sharleen S. Dabreo-Lettsome MBE, right, who will be the acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Deputy Governor. Mrs Carolyn E. Stoutt-Igwe has been transferred from the Office of the Deputy Governor to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture. Photo: GIS/VINO/File
Dr Marcia Potter, left, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture has been transferred to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, while Mr Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley, right, has been transferred from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration to the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities. Photo: GIS/VINO
Dr Marcia Potter, left, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture has been transferred to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, while Mr Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley, right, has been transferred from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration to the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities. Photo: GIS/VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Saying his phone has been blowing up since Friday, August 30, 2019 after it was announced that there was a shakeup in Permanent Secretaries of Government, Premier and Minister of Finance Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) said he wants the public to know that Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert went against the recommendation of the Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding the appointments.

In a statement delivered at the continuation of the 6th Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands today, September 2, 2019, Hon Fahie acknowledged that the Governor is entitled to make his own decision regarding the Public Service under the Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007, in accordance with Section 92, however, the Governor usurped this function entirely upon himself when he rejected the recommendation of the PSC with regard to the appointment of the Permanent Secretaries.

“While I have no problem with the Governor leaning on his own discretion, that is his prerogative; however, I see his action as an insult to self-reliance, self-determination, modern partnership, mutual respect and the democratic future of the BVI.”

The Governor’s decision, Hon Fahie lamented, is an insult to all Virgin Islanders and “where we have come as a territory, as we reflect on our 65th anniversary of our emancipation celebrations. Again this is another instance of the empire tugging on our invisible shackles and dictating to us, and subjugates that we are not competent and capable to know what is good for us.”

The Premier said the Governor’s unilateral move is concerning for him, because the VI has enjoyed an admirable relationship with the United Kingdom over the years “without persons in the middle trying to deteriorate our relationship with an agenda not in the best interest of the BVI.”

An insult to PSC Members

According to Information from Government, new Permanent Secretary appointments include Mr Kedrick E. Malone, who has been hired on a contractual basis at the Premier’s Office for a period of six months; and Mrs Sharleen S. Dabreo-Lettsome, MBE, who will be the acting Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Deputy Governor.

However, existing Permanent Secretaries that have been transferred and given new portfolios are, “Mrs Carolyn E. Stoutt-Igwe from the Office of the Deputy Governor now to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture; Dr Marcia Potter from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture to the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration; and Mr Ronald F. Smith-Berkeley has been transferred from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration to the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities.”

According to Hon Fahie, the Governor’s preferential acts, termed merit based, is an affront to the unblemished reputation, integrity and professional competence of the distinguished stalwarts who serve on the Public Service Commission and who have served long and illustrious careers in the public service.

“These indignities and injustice of our people we will address in a different arena and another time because good governance practices cannot be conditional.”

The Premier did not say what were the recommendations of the PSC.

Respect must be reciprocated

Premier Fahie; however, said for now the focus is on bringing relief for the people of the VI who are still in recovery two years after the devastation of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“And you our government will work with the Permanent Secretaries, looking forward to seeing them carry out the Government’s agenda, which is the people of the BVI agenda and not the Governor’s agenda.”

He said his Government will continue to be fully respectful of the United Kingdom and their Representative but it is imperative that the respect be reciprocated.

“We will also expect the same respect from the few others of like minds who will make sure that it is reciprocal.”

13 Responses to “Governor’s rejection of PSC recommendation on PS an insult to VI- Premier Fahie”

  • Concerned (02/09/2019, 15:17) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    so the changes announced is not valid?
  • ancestors (02/09/2019, 15:24) Like (52) Dislike (32) Reply
    Looks like we need to have a little chat with this Governor
  • Well now (02/09/2019, 16:32) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    What did the PSC recommends?
  • biker (02/09/2019, 19:36) Like (10) Dislike (5) Reply
    Maybe the Premier needs to provide some valid reasons for all this PS shuffling to the Guv.
  • kkk (02/09/2019, 21:00) Like (34) Dislike (15) Reply
    The governor must be sick, he needs to go!!!
  • facts (02/09/2019, 21:55) Like (23) Dislike (10) Reply
    The ndp did the world of wrong and was so corrupt but the white governor did not interfere.

    Now the new government voted by the people is here he find time to make changes...seem like racism
  • DARK AGES (03/09/2019, 08:21) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Continue living in the Dark Ages BVI and expect more of the same.
  • Faithful (03/09/2019, 09:45) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I agree with the Governor. I don't think at least one of those new proposed PS is capable for the post. They can't even run the Dept they had effectively, how the hell they going run more than one dept that falls under that Ministry
  • Ques (03/09/2019, 09:45) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    What is the Govenor,s motive. ? Why is he interfering now and did nothing when the former government was in place? This move is very suspicious. Is something being covered up?
  • VI Dread (03/09/2019, 14:17) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    When Andrew over throw Frazier he didn't have any problem with the governor.
  • Quiet Warrior (04/09/2019, 09:26) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Governor is exercising misguided use of his reserved constitutional powers. Using reserved constitutional powers to override local government’s should fall under the province of national emergencies, ie, public health and safety, financial fiduciary responsibility, internal security......etc. The Governor is probably exercising abuse of power with his current unprecedented action. Nonetheless, the people asked for this type of action, for the people’s reps. poorly negotiated constitutional reforms.

    The Governor and UK government is playing games and up to something. Is it that it thinks that the BVI people (most of whom are of African descent) are getting too uppity. In any country, a small percentage of civil service positions are political positions and are appointed by the sitting government. A sitting government must have the freedom to appoint person(s) of their choice to these political positions. A permanent secretary is a top civil servant and close advisor to ministers. As such, ministers must have a high comfort level with person(s) serving in these positions. The UK government has PSs and ministers/secretarys have a strong input in their selection.

    Moreover, at this juncture, I’m not agitating for political independence but I’m strongly agitating for constitutional reform(s). The local government, the people’s reps, must have more say in civil servants recruiting, performance, production, behaviour, discipline, training, retraining.....etc. The local taxpayers pay civil servants salaries yet have little say in their leadership/management. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    Currently, civil service falls under the Governor, the Crown’s rep; it needs to fall under the local government with effective checks and balances. Should BVI voters be disappointed in Gov Jaspert overreach and power grab? The BVI people is reaping what it sowed. The UK always look out for the UK’s interest. Similarly, the V.I. must look out the VI’s best interest. We must let go of the false notion the M....a knows what best for us and will look for our interest. It is folly to think so. It is 2019, not 1834. Perhaps it is time for the Guv to give up his tropical vacation. Clearly, the power has gone to his head and he is acting irrationally. Guv, bon voyage!

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————PS: hear is a news flash. Rarely do managerial decisions attain a 100% approval; there will always some folks who are disgruntled. Is the Guv saying that the PSC violated its guidelines? The PSC is not a robot and does not have to agree with the Guv. Why are a few people blowing up the Guv phone? Was the Guv waiting for some dissent to use his reserve powers? Does it seem so?


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