Opposition Leader says appointment of Permanent Secretaries politicizes public service
Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon on Friday railed against Thursday’s appointment of eight new Permanent Secretaries by the Office of the President.
Harmon considered the appointments as an insertion of persons closely aligned to the governing People’s Progressive Party at the top level of the public service. This, he said, has effectively politicized the system of Government’s neutral service to citizens.
Harmon also believes that the move of these persons from lower levels all the way to the top and the return of others who had either resigned or were fired have created a feeling of disenchantment among public servants who saw career in public service.
“I am told that the sitting Permanent Secretaries were not consulted about the move and the appointment of new Permanent Secretaries, they only learned about it in the newspapers,” he added.
Harmon said the appointment of a Permanent Secretary is too much of an important one for the Government to play politics with while he pointed out the under qualification of some of the appointees.
“The Permanent Secretary is the administrative head and accounting officer who is responsible for the assets of the Ministry; that person stands between Government regulations and ministerial excesses. He or she must be aware of all Government regulations and programmes and is involved in the preparation and expenditure of budgets; they report to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament,” Harmon explained.
The Office of the President on Thursday announced the appointment of eight Permanent Secretaries within several Government Ministries.
Those appointments includes Malcolm Watkins to the Ministry of Health with a Master of Organizational Leadership, Sharon Hicks to the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy; Mae Toussaint Jr. Thomas to the Ministry of Home Affairs with a Diploma in Accountancy; Vladim Persaud to the Ministry of Public Works with a BSc in Economics; Shannielle E. Hoosein-Outar to the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security with a BSc in Business Management; Andre Ally to the Ministry of Housing and Water with a Master of Business Administration; Bishram Kuppen to the Ministry of Labour with no stated qualification and Sharon Roopchand-Edwards to the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce; she is an Economist by training.