Career public servant disappointed with removal as PS; to be reassigned

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Having served in the public service for 25 years, former Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sherie Samantha Fedee said she is “disappointed” that her appointment has been revoked but Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira told the News Room that she will be reassigned to another post in the public service.

Fedee noted that her appointment as the PS was approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and only the Commission can dismiss her.

“I am a public servant…I started 1995, 21 of November as a Clerk and all my appointments are approved by the [PSC], since I moved from a Clerk to a Personnel Officer to Assistant Secretary and then to Deputy Permanent Secretary and then to a Permanent Secretary,” she told the News Room in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Fedee was appointed as a PS in 2019 but was only confirmed by the PSC on September 15, 2020.

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government has since renamed the entity to the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and Fedee received a letter on October 12 from Teixeira stating that since the Ministry to which she was appointed no longer exists, her appointment was “revoked.”

“As you are no doubt aware, the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs no long[er] exists as per Order #79 of 2020…The Cabinet on October 8th, 2020 appointed a Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs,” the letter, seen by the News Room, stated.

The former PS was sent on accumulated leave which comes to an end on November 24, 2020.  She has since approached the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) seeking redress.

On Tuesday, President of the GPSU, Patrick Yarde wrote Minister Teixeira and accused her of usurping the powers of the PSC and abusing her authority.

When contacted, Teixeira clarified that Fedee “was not terminated” and therefore, she will be reassigned to another post.

Teixeira maintained that she did not usurp the powers of the PSC.

“The Constitution of Guyana confers on the President the power to appoint Permanent Secretaries.

“As a public [servant] on the fixed establishment, the PSM [Public Service Ministry] is looking where to place her. She is not being terminated at all,” Teixeira made clear.

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