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UPDATE: Ag. PS Arlene Smith-Thompson out! Last day was Nov. 9, 2012

- Deputy Secretary Gary Penn in charge of Ministry of Communications and Works
Mrs. Arlene Smith-Thompson, the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, has left the Ministry to proceed on study leave. It is reported that she is to pursue a Phd. She has been acting in the post for the last two years. Photo: GIS
 Deputy Governor V. Inez Archibald has been granted an extension of her tenure as Deputy Governor under the National Democratic Party Government. She is over the age of 60 and the Government retirement age is 60. Others have been forced out when they reached the age of 60 and many civil servants are questioning whether there is an unfair system in place and the creditably and constituency of the civil service. Photo: GIS
Deputy Governor V. Inez Archibald has been granted an extension of her tenure as Deputy Governor under the National Democratic Party Government. She is over the age of 60 and the Government retirement age is 60. Others have been forced out when they reached the age of 60 and many civil servants are questioning whether there is an unfair system in place and the creditably and constituency of the civil service. Photo: GIS
Honourable Mark Vanterpool (left) told the House of Assembly earlier this year that he wanted Mrs. Arlene Smith-Thompson (right) confirmed to the post of Permanent Secretary (PS) following the leave of former PS Julian Willock. It remains unclear why she was not confirmed to the post and why she is now leaving the Ministry for study leave, now that the post is vacant. Photo: GIS
Honourable Mark Vanterpool (left) told the House of Assembly earlier this year that he wanted Mrs. Arlene Smith-Thompson (right) confirmed to the post of Permanent Secretary (PS) following the leave of former PS Julian Willock. It remains unclear why she was not confirmed to the post and why she is now leaving the Ministry for study leave, now that the post is vacant. Photo: GIS
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- As was firstly and accurately reported by this news site, Acting Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Communications and Works (MC&W) Mrs. Arlene Smith-Thompson is no longer at the Ministry.

The public officer spent her last day on the job on Friday November 9, 2012 and has proceeded on leave.  Mrs. Thompson-Smith, who was named Acting Permanent Secretary in the MC&W in 2010 after the then Permanent Secretary Julian Willock was sent on leave, is expected to pursue a PhD.

It is this news site’s understanding that Deputy Secretary Gary Penn is in charge of the Ministry, however, he does not have an acting appointment through the Public Service Commission.

A couple of weeks ago a new Deputy Secretary- Anthony S. McMaster was also named to the Ministry, another story firstly reported by this news site.

Mrs. Thompson-Smith's abrupt departure caught many by surprise especially after the alleged illegal and unconstitutional termination by the United Kingdom appointed Governor Boyd McCleary of the esteemed Mr. Willock.  The post then became vacant and Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark Vanterpool had called in the House of Assembly for her confirmation to the post.

Previous Story posted:

Mr. Willock was sent on leave following an article by the local tabloid BVI Beacon, which accused him of having a person work for one of his group of companies without a work permit.  The Labour Department had already, even before the article was published, rejected those libelous, malicious, political motivated and some say racist claims, by confirming that Mr. Willock had all his work permits in order.

The PSC had ruled unanimously that Mr. Willock should be reinstated to his post of Permanent Secretary.

No announcement has been made about a replacement, however, earlier this year Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark Vanterpool had said in the House of Assembly that he wanted Mrs. Smith-Thompson confirmed to the post.

A senior government official who spoke to this news site had said, “this is an awkward time to loose a PS a month or so before the Standing Finance Committee hearing...It means the Minister or other elements really wanted her out or she herself could not wait to leave”.

It remains unclear whether she is being forced out. 

Mrs. Smith-Thompson served in the Ministry of Education and Culture as Assistant Secretary, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s office and she acted as PS both in the Deputy Governor’s office and the Ministry of Communications and Works. 

She has a reputation for hard work and integrity and standing up and speaking out against unfair practices and illegal activities in the civil service.

History of shake ups since NDP took office in 2011

Thus far, the Labour Commissioner Oleanvine Maynard has been removed from office, and replaced by Janice Rymer, who was recently given a one year acting appointment extension.

Her removal came days after the sacking of Ray George from the Ministry of Communications and Works, the extended leave of Accountant General Kharid Fraser, and the denial of a contract renewal to Otto O’Neal, the former Cabinet Secretary. Mr. O’Neal’s last day on the job was December 15, 2011. He was replaced by Sandra Ward.

Mr. O’Neal was forced to retire when others in the service are still on the job with more years than him and much older.  His brother Vincent O’Neal has also been denied a contract renewal as Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority and reports suggested that he was treated in an unprofessional and undignified way two days before he demitted office.

The deputy governor V. Inez Archibald has been granted an extension to her tenure as Deputy Governor under the NDP.  Mrs. Archibald is over 60 years of age. The Government retirement age is 60.

Two weeks ago the esteemed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Julian Willock was terminated by the UK appointed Governor with the blessings of the NDP Government.

Also, there was the reassignment of Dr. Drexel Glasgow from his post at the Public Works Department and replaced by Jeffrey Skelton, the brother of the Health and Social Development Minister Ronnie W. Skelton and the non-renewal of the contract of Ms. Sherri L. Ortiz for the post of Executive Director of International Finance Centre.

She was replaced by Elise Donovan, who was the head of International Affairs at the Premier’s Office.

A few months ago, Sylvia Moses was removed as Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department and transferred to the Premier’s Office, as was Hadassah Ward from the post of Director of the BVI Tourist Board to the same office.

Mrs. Rosalie Adams, who retired over a leaked FCO letter on Biwater, was returned as Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office following the November 2011 elections.  Janice Braithwaite a former Director of Tourism was brought back and named City Manager, a story firstly and accurately broken by this news site.

Mrs. Prudence Mathavious, a former Acting Chief Education Officer, has now taken up the post as Acting Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture.  She is the wife of Robert Mathavious the CEO of the Financial Services Commission.  It has resulted in Ms. Tasha Bertie, who was acting in the post, to be reverted to her post as Assistant Secretary.

In addition, the NDP has seemingly given its supporters lucrative consultancy contracts while telling the public the country was left “broke” by the now opposition Virgin Islands Party of Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE.

60 Responses to “UPDATE: Ag. PS Arlene Smith-Thompson out! Last day was Nov. 9, 2012”

  • QC (18/10/2012, 07:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    • staff (18/10/2012, 12:10) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Come on people we did not eat our school fees..we all know Mark wanted her gone because ...well let me leave that there plus the wicked lady over 60 would not have supported her confirmation.

      But good move Ms. Smith get out before the pending train your integrity
  • ... (18/10/2012, 07:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    gosh the women inez over 60 and still dey causing grief for some...well sah look double standards
  • rat tail (18/10/2012, 08:22) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I guess somebody could not get her to do wrong things so they want her out…hummmmmm
  • bam see (18/10/2012, 08:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    oh gosh!!! another one bites the dust
  • Saic (18/10/2012, 08:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good move Mrs. Smith-Thompson. Those government jobs are so political and unstable. Those jobs are very stressful and the compensation is not worth it. Best wishes!
  • qick sand (18/10/2012, 10:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    dem get rid of willock dem got rid of john now dem got rid of Arline but look out they will get rid of archer who coming too mark my words
    • Ann (18/10/2012, 11:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Seems like the Permanent secretaries move out faster than the ministers wah ah ting to tell dey king!!
    • College Student (18/10/2012, 14:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It was said that Mrs. Thompson was to go to law shcool since 2011 but I believe that she held on to the position until the Willock situation was settled. Now that the Willock situation was settled, she has been given the green light to pursue her studies. Good Luck in your studies Mrs. Thompson and I am sure that you will be one of the top students in whatever area you will be studying.
  • wet well (18/10/2012, 10:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Nonsense (18/10/2012, 10:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need you back in the schools Ms Smith!!!
  • nice! (18/10/2012, 12:07) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    nice pic vino
  • Lee (18/10/2012, 12:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    All this is a gemic, school children say that her replacement is a young man who just went to one of the Ministry (Health) who has no degree is slated to be the P.S, MCW. Please stay tune for more.
  • Prophetess (18/10/2012, 12:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Blessings on you Mrs. Thompson. It is very sad to see great workers being 'pushed' out of the Service because of the many "Air Heads" but wait Barry say "You'll hear. " The old people say" Water boiling for fish and fish ain't know." I wish you God's speed and remember the Word says "Meekly wait and murmur not!"
  • Cotton (18/10/2012, 12:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ms. Smith was way too soft for that position. She lets the department heads under her Ministry control her instead of she controlling them. I knew this was coming. Only a matter of time.
    • Buh-Deh (18/10/2012, 14:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's called victimization and I have seen it and felt it first hand, just like Mrs. Thompson. These bigger heads are playing hockey with our livelihood; they are silently patronizing, abusing and demeaning us while they smile to the masses.
      Kudos to you Mrs. Thompson, I truly wish you the utmost best in your future endeavors. Don't let the callous behaviors of others cause you to become bitter. Stay true and continue to be YOU! I pray that when you return home that you will continue to guide, manage and direct those under your employ in a fair and unbiased manner. Godspeed.
    • weapon (18/10/2012, 15:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      But 'Cotton' is that a reason for the DG to block her confirmation? suckteeth
    • Oh No (19/10/2012, 06:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      she respected the heads like she was suppose to do. the real problem is that the ministry have to much weak heads but ah see them trying to fix that. DMV next please!!!!!!!!!!
  • NDP supporter (18/10/2012, 12:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If I was them and really want things to move I would have bite the rubber and bring back Mr. Willock that is the best hope for that Mark take my silly advise
  • we the civil servants (18/10/2012, 13:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Many civil servants do not have to question any more about the status of the service. It has been long concluded that moral is at its lowest, the injustice is over bearing, and the double standards throughout is so clear that even Ray Charles can see and that is a fact
  • Donald E. de Castro (18/10/2012, 13:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You forgot Doris Smith-Scatliffe fron the National bank of the Virgin Islands
    • secrets (18/10/2012, 14:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      talk all donald
    • LOL (18/10/2012, 15:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      She had need to good. With or without politics. Old and waste of time. Look at that bank in comparison to others.
      • watch the game (18/10/2012, 19:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        TO LOL: Not so fast look at those young ones that is just so incompetent...look at the house speaker for example who help forced Ms. D out from the bank and look at the shameful state of our HOA…so watch the game
    • HoneyDew (18/10/2012, 16:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      She needed to age 70, was time for her to go..she offered no advancement to the bank. So what's new? Under every government there is change so I dont see what the blah blah is about.
      • public officer 10 (19/10/2012, 08:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        HoneyDew how come you not saying that about the DG??You set of bias hypocrites...she has not contributed one thing to the service but turned it into a political service and victimized some and run it for who she like and who she aint!!!
  • Voter (18/10/2012, 18:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The carnage and the victimisation in the Civil Service continues. There are many others. We have never seen this degree of vindictiveness and wickedness yet.
    • MEHSON!!! (21/10/2012, 19:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Ayo think you see thing yet, ask the staff of the Audit Department. That place is the Auditor General and her assistant HOUSE.
  • ABC (18/10/2012, 19:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The death of a whilk provides an opportunity for a soldier crab. Here comes Gary. But what is all this hipe about? Poor Grant at Water & Sewage will soon be reporting to Miss P Scatliffe, another waste.
    • poppy cot (18/10/2012, 19:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Gray not on your life...I will bit willock will be back before Gary get PS and you know that is one in a million chance of happening…as for Grant now that is the real waste trust we
    • ok (18/10/2012, 19:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      blah, blah, blah..... anything else?
      • D (19/10/2012, 00:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Lmao this like a comic book I reading......lmao lol. This sweet buddy :)
    • alicia (19/10/2012, 10:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

      I have to agree Mr. Grant should have been given the position I guess because he is not a BVIslander why they didn't consider him but I f I was in his shoe I will let her do the work I was not working for her and she gets the credit. let her work her backside for it. Grant all I will say to you is not to worry God don’t sleep and he don’t like ugly she is not an engineered and she should have recommend that you be given first choice. People so money and position hungry that anything is possible.

      • Strupes (19/10/2012, 14:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        She plan to work like she has for all these years with or without Grant. tell him get it togethr cause the action lady knows rope.
  • Disinterested (19/10/2012, 09:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The civil service is in turmoil and disarray; it's demoralized, dysfunctional and moribund. The egotistic, power-crazed politicians have turned the service into a cesspool of political victimization, incompetence, inefficiency, ineffectiveness, dysfunction, and patronage. The goal of ministers should be to motivate, create and sustain an engaged service. Instead, they have transformed it into a disengaged entity with obstructionists. A dysfunctional team cannot performed effectively. And in the current atmosphere, civil servants cannot perform their roles and execute their responsibilities effectively, productively, economically, or qualitatively. The civil service is the foundation of good governance. Politicians come and go but civil servants are a constancy. As such they just need to be given plans of action and milestones and then get out the way. In other words they need to be effectively led.

    The basic role of government is to deliver services to citizens, residents, and visitors; these services usually include services that it can provide more effectively and at a lower cost, ie, roads, public safety....etc. than the private sector. Moreover, the public sector is hamstrunged and cannot deliver the high quality and cost effective service that the people should expect. The problems facing the public service are not insurmountable. And all that is required is bold, courageous, strong and effective leadership and management to pull it back from plunging off the cliff. It needs a sober collaboration among government, opposition, governor's office, civil servants, community--a meeting of the mind--to address the problem. Doc, it is time to lead.

    Moreover, it is true that elections have consequences and to the victor go the spoils. And further after an election most of us expect that there will be a few personnel changes(the operative word is few). But it has been almost a year now and there is still too much uncertainty, disruption, instability in the service. The service deserve better. Stability is a key factor in developing the financial services and tourism industries; it will also be a factor in new economies.

  • The Captain (19/10/2012, 14:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lets see if we have this thing all together; J. Skelton CEO PWD; P. Scatliffe CEO Water and Sewage; Skelton Cline Managing Director Ports Authority; W. Gaskin CEO Min. of Finance; L. Black Act Manager Dev. Bank; Garry Penn to act PS MCW; It cannot get any better than this.
  • Dark Days (20/10/2012, 10:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Arlene I have followed your stellar career in the public service and your work has been nothing but exemplary! For you, it has never been about self, power, position or money. Quite to the contrary you have always been a tower of strength quietly working behind the scenes in service to country. Even when you were propelled in the spotlight it did not change your character or personality as you continued to remain true to yourself and your God-given values. Please do not be deterred by the recent turn of events for it will only make you stronger. The wicked may seem to prosper but only for a season. These are indeed dark days for our public service where certain rookie ministers are allowed to run amuck at the expense of the public purse while their other corrupt colleagues stand on the sidelines and crucify the permanent secretaries in support of such reckless actions. Take my advice Arlene, you did the best thing to get out now as it is clear to see that we are on a downward spiral and only God knows what will happen next. I know you are the sacrificed lamb today but just remain faithful for great will be your reward.
  • Ticking Clock (22/10/2012, 00:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9 KJV). Arlene I know you are a very committed, devoted person to your work. Don't allow circumstances or people to change who you really are. Whatever you do, stay focused and keep your eyes on God who is the centre of your joy. I have no doubt that you will excel in your studies and will continue to make an invaluable contribution to our territory. May God continue to bless you and direct you in all of your future undertakings.
  • . (13/11/2012, 14:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    come out from amongst them
  • go in peace (13/11/2012, 15:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    so happy Ms. Arlene got over this job and move on. Enough with this tabanca. What goes around comes around.
  • ??? (13/11/2012, 15:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I wonder if anyone ever hear the term "constructive dismissal"? Them civil servants get unjustly removed from one job and sent to another best see they lawyer and find out what it means. It is when the boss fire you or demote you or put you somewheres you dont want to be and doing a job you don't want to be doing. The boss hoping you will up and quit. That is what "constructive dismissal" is and it is illegal. Check dem lawyers and sue government when they is so unfair like that!
  • Paul Ryan (13/11/2012, 17:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    good move mrs. Thompson for Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn't blow in the wind or change with the weather!!!
  • Next Deputy Governor (13/11/2012, 19:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good move on completing your Ph.D Mrs. Thompson. What God have for you it will be for you. Neither Inez nor Mark can stand in the way of your blessings. Keep God in everything that you do. Keep your head on. Like my grand mother always use to tell us as young children, they going and we coming. Those two people who trying to block you, they going and you are coming.
  • the big qestion (13/11/2012, 23:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    with ministers having direct access and selection to who their PS would be, what is the purpose of a civil service career?
  • fall (14/11/2012, 10:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the contiuned political interfrance of the civil service by the NDP will contributed to their downfall.
  • ABC (14/11/2012, 10:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The only sure positions in the service today are, The Deputy Financial Secretary, the Managing Director Port Authority{to be] and the CEO Water and Sewage. Suckup to the politicians and POW and all will be well. Our only hope is the FCO.
  • hives (14/11/2012, 11:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a disgrace! what they did to Arline and willock
  • Come on (15/11/2012, 08:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Oh you got to be kidding me..... They complaining about the "wicked lady over 60" and she can stand firm still unlike the man they still have leading the opposition and a district. This a joke...So, that rule with over sixty obviously always been only for some ntn new.
    • @ Come on (16/11/2012, 06:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The public service has an age limit. Holding political office does not. That is THE difference!!!!
  • reach for the stars (17/11/2012, 23:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the ministry of works gone to the dogs and some one going to jail soon!

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